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Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

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    Japanese annual wholesale inflation hit a 27-year high in March, squeezing businesses as they struggle to pass on higher prices for fuel and other raw materials to their customers.

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    Takeda Pharmaceutical said it would buy U.S. firm Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8.8 billion to boost its cancer drug business, in the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese drug maker.

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    Asian markets closed mixed Thursday while the U.S. dollar remained weak on concerns about the impact of a credit crisis on the global economy and as record oil prices fuel inflation worries.

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    Japan's core machinery orders fell 12.7 percent in February after an unusually strong previous month, in an expected decline that is unlikely to alter the view that the Bank of Japan will sit tight on interest rates for now.

  • Asian markets took a turn into negative territory while the U.S. dollar stayed weak Wednesday as worries resurfaced about the economy and a global financial crisis.  Japan closed 1.1% lower.

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    The Bank of Japan left its interest rate target unchanged at 0.5 percent on Wednesday, as expected, in a unanimous vote.

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    Most Asian markets sagged Tuesday, led by financials as news of a possible capital injection at Washington Mutual failed to eliminate concerns about more bank writedowns.

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    Asian markets rose Monday, with resource companies benefiting from stronger metals and oil prices, while the dollar rose, shrugging off worse-than-expected U.S. job losses. But concerns about the impact of the credit crisis on the financial system lingered, driving banking shares lower. Japan closed over 1 percent higher.

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    Japan's government put forward acting central bank governor Masaaki Shirakawa on Monday to head the Bank of Japan permanently, finally finding a candidate the veto-wielding opposition is likely to back after weeks of deadlock.

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    The OECD stuck with a growth forecast for Japan this year of 1.6 percent, in a report issued on Monday, and repeated that the Bank of Japan should not raise interest rates until inflation is firmly on the rise

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    Asian markets closed near one-month highs Friday, with investors trading cautiously ahead of U.S. jobs report that is expected to raise fresh concerns that the economy is closer to a recession. Japan finished lower, but South Korea and Australia closed almost unchanged.

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    Japan's government may nominate acting central bank governor Masaaki Shirakawa as permanent head of the bank, hoping that a candidate already approved by parliament will not be vetoed by opposition lawmakers, the Nikkei newspaper said on Friday.

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    Asian stocks rose to their highest in a month Thursday as a rally in gold and oil lifted resource shares. Japan and Australia both finished over 1% higher.

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    Markets surged Wednesday after a Lehman Brothers securities offering in the U.S. met strong demand, raising hopes in Asia that the worst of the credit crisis might be over. Japan closed over 4% higher, while Australia and South Korea both added 2%.

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    There are some commonly held perceptions among car buyers that are getting tossed out the window right now. The biggest, in my opinion, involve the incentives dealers and automakers are rolling out to sell cars, trucks, and SUVs. So, with the March auto sales coming out, it seems appropriate to set the record straight.

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    Asian stocks closed mixed Tuesday as markets pared back gains ahead of a raft of economic indicators due out this week. Investors are wary over the prospect of a serious global economic slowdown.

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    Business sentiment among big Japanese manufacturers has sunk to a four-year low, a Bank of Japan survey showed on Tuesday, in further evidence of a worsening economic outlook and reinforcing market speculation that the central bank may cut rates later in the year.

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    Asian markets ended mostly weaker Monday, heading for their worst quarterly performance in over five years. Japan finished down over 2 percent, but South Korea and Australia managed to eke out slight gains after treading lower for most of the session.

  • Japan's financial regulator is examining ties between Aozora Bank and top shareholder Cerberus Capital Management, to see if the U.S. private equity firm has put pressure on the bank to finance deals, the Financial Times said on Monday.

  • Japanese industrial production fell less than expected in February, but the second monthly decline in a row did little to disperse clouds building over the economy.