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Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Matt Simmons

    Oil majors can't get ahead of production declines despite spending on unconventional sources, an energy sector investment banker says.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    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.

  • Newly elected President of the Liberal Democratic Party Yasuo Fukuda smiles while sitting in the presidential chair at the party's headquarters in Tokyo, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2007. Moderate veteran Fukuda easily won election as Japan's ruling party president Sunday, pledging to improve ties with Asia, keep a pro-U.S. foreign policy and uplift rural areas when he becomes prime minister later this week. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, Pool)

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Asian markets plunged Monday, but stocks were off session lows. Japan closed 3.7 percent lower and Hong Kong fell 5 percent.

  • Japan's government struggled to resolve a deadlock over a new central bank chief on Monday, just days before the current governor retires, and prospects for a breakthrough were unclear even as market turmoil took the dollar to fresh lows and battered Tokyo stocks. 1st paragraph of story should go here

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    As we watch GM and Ford shares approach lows we haven't seen since the days when Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was topping the charts, and while mighty Toyota ponders cutting truck production in the U.S., I decided Friday deserves some lovin'.