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Asia Top News and Analysis Japan

  • Japanese annual wholesale inflation hit a 27-year high of 3 percent in January due to rising oil and other raw material costs, but the Bank of Japan is likely to sit tight on rates in the face of cost-push inflation and slowing global growth.

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    Asian markets were slightly higher on Tuesday driven by a rebound in the U.S., but financials remained fragile after American International Group raised fears it would become the latest casualty of the credit crisis.

  • Want an illustration of why traders are nervous about how stable earnings forecasts are? New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer is lowering projections for tax revenue by $384 million, only three weeks after presenting his budget!

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    Oil and precious metals rose on supply concerns on Monday in thin holiday trade in Asia, while the few stock markets that were open, such as South Korea and Australia, unravelled on fear the credit crunch would spread further.

  • The Japanese market fell 1.4 percent in a quiet Friday session.  But Australia finished 1.1 percent higher.  Volumes were thin with many investors away for the lunar new year.

  • Japan ended higher Thursday, rebounding from early losses, but Australia closed lower, hitting a five-day low as investors remained sidelined after recent signs that the U.S. economy is headed into recession. 

  • Japan's foreign reserves, the world's second largest after China, hit a record high of $996 billion at the end of January as falling interest rates boosted the value of foreign bonds in the stockpile.

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    Asian markets tanked in the afternoon session Wednesday, sending investors on a selling spree after unexpectedly weak service sector data in the United States and Europe fueled fears of a recession. Japan plunged over 4 percent and Hong Kong closed more than 5 percent lower.

  • A food scare involving contaminated dumplings imported from China by Japan Tobacco has scuttled a deal to merge the company's frozen food business with that of Nissin Food Products, the companies said on Wednesday.

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    Asian markets continued their weak run Tuesday with financial stocks sinking after U.S. credit card firms and banks were downgraded, stoking fears their troubles could spread to the global sector.

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    Yes, the game was incredible. So good, you could argue that, for once, the Super Bowl commercials took a back seat to the game. But for two automakers, Audi and Hyundai, the big game was big chance to show off two big models. Audi's spot for the new R8 ran early in game and played off the famous scene in "The Godfather"...

  • 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 rallied Monday, as Microsoft's bid for Yahoo and China's purchase of a large stake in takeover target Rio Tinto boosted optimism over share valuations. Japan added 2.6 percent while South Korea advanced 3.4 percent.

  • General Motors

    General Motors said that its total U.S. vehicle sales rose 2.1 percent in January -- making it the only major automaker to turn in positive results for the month.

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    We knew January auto sales would be lackluster. We knew that auto dealers weren't terribly confident about the consumer. The numbers today have lived up to our low expectations.

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    Despite hefty interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week, investors were still worried about the health of the U.S. economy and the global ramifications of a slowdown. Asian markets ended mixed Friday, with Japan closing lower but Australia jumping 3.4 percent.

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    Asian stocks had a jittery session Thursday with markets dipping in and out of negative territory as fears of a possible downgrade of U.S. bond insurers hit financials. Both Japan and South Korea finished higher despite a negative start to the session.

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    Asian stocks were suffering a case of the nerves ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later Wednesday. Markets started the session on a strong note, but then slipped into negative territory with Hong Kong closing 2.6 percent lower and Japan shedding 1 percent.

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    Expectations of a further cut in U.S. interest rates buoyed most Asian stocks Tuesday. Japan finished nearly up 3 percent, but the Australian market bucked the positive trend to close almost 2.5 percent lower.

  • Asian stocks took a beating Monday with Japan and South Korea both closing almost 4 percent lower.

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    Asian markets ended a volatile week with a firm rally on Friday, which brought most of the major indexes back to Monday's opening levels. A U.S. tax stimulus package, reassuring jobs data and the prospect of another Federal Reserve rate cut buoyed investor sentiment.