Japanese annual inflation hit a decade-high 1.0 percent in February, but the credit crisis and a stalling Japanese economy mean the Bank of Japan is still seen as more likely to cut interest rates this year than raise them.
Asian markets ended mostly lower Thursday as financials slipped on worries over bank earnings, and after a drop in U.S. durable goods stoked concerns the world's top economy is already in a recession. Both Japan and China finished weaker.
The Bank of Japan still has its sights set on higher interest rates in the future, although it will pursue a flexible policy looking at developments in Japan's economy and global markets, two members of the central bank's policy board said on Thursday.
Unrealized losses on Japan's $1 trillion foreign currency reserves amount to about 18.5 trillion yen when the dollar is around 100 yen, Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said on Thursday.
Asian markets were mixed Wednesday, with Japan closing lower but South Korea edging up. The U.S. dollar sagged after the biggest drop in U.S. consumer confidence in five years cast doubt on the economy's resilience in the face of a housing and credit slump.
Japan's exports rose a little more than expected in February from a year earlier as solid shipments of Japanese goods to Asia and Europe made up for a fall in exports to the United States.
It might have seemed like a boring day in the stock market, but there was plenty of action including late-breaking news on Clear Channel, the pre-earnings Oracle trade and more.
Oil majors can't get ahead of production declines despite spending on unconventional sources, an energy sector investment banker says.
Asian markets climbed Tuesday following news of JPMorgan's raised bid for Bear Stearns. Expectations for a recovery in U.S. credit markets cheered investors. Hong Kong stocks jumped over 6 percent and Japan finished over 2 percent higher.
Support for Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda slid nine points to 31% in a poll published on Monday, as a political deadlock that has left the top central bank post vacant cast new doubts on his leadership.
Big Japanese firms have grown pessimistic about business conditions, a government survey showed on Monday, fueling concern that the Japanese economy may follow the United States into a recession.
Asian stocks ran flat to higher Monday. Japan and South Korea finished in the black. Trading activity was muted markets in Australia and Hong Kong closed for the Easter holiday. They will reopen Tuesday. Friday was a holiday in the United States and around 40 other countries worldwide.
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, under fire over an unprecedented vacancy at the top of the Bank of Japan, said it was his "mission" to fix the problem soon, but media reported a new nomination could be delayed until April.
Asian stocks were mostly stronger this Good Friday, following gains on Wall Street. Japan and South Korea both finished over 1% higher. Markets in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Singapore are closed for the Good Friday holiday.
Asian stocks bounced around in the afternoon session Thursday, with Chinese markets oscillating wildly, losing as much as 6.5% at one point, but swinging back into the black, now trading over 2% higher.
The Japanese central bank was placed in the hands of a temporary governor when Toshihiko Fukui retires in a few hours, after the latest candidate to replace him was rejected by the upper house of parliament.
Asian markets rallied on Wednesday as investors took a shine to the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate cut. Australia had a spectacular session, finishing 4% higher. Japan and South Korea both ended over 2% higher.
Asian stocks closed mostly higher Tuesday after Monday's selloff as battered financials regained some luster ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting that is expected to yield steep U.S. rate cuts. Japan finished 1.5 percent higher, but Australia closed flat.
The Japanese government put forward on Tuesday a former top finance ministry bureaucrat as its second nominee to become central bank governor, but a senior opposition lawmaker warned the surprise choice was likely to be vetoed.
Asian markets plunged Monday, but stocks were off session lows. Japan closed 3.7 percent lower and Hong Kong fell 5 percent.