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.
The euro came close to a record high against the dollar Monday as higher-than-forecast euro-zone price data reinforced expectations that the inflation-focused European Central Bank will not start cutting rates soon.
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.
For the week ending Friday, March 28, 2008 the US Markets ended mixed after starting on a high note Monday extending last week's market rally. The winning streak came to an end on Tuesday when the Dow closing down for the first time in three sessions. The NASDAQ had the strongest performance of the week managing a positive gain despite weak earnings from Oracle and poor performance from Google . Economic data dragged on the markets with consumer sentiment and confidence at low levels and negative housing data.-Next week the markets will watch Friday's jobs report for evidence of recession, and any revisions on guidance as we move into earnings season. Alcoa kicks off "official" earnings season on Monday, April 7th after the bell. The big companies for next week all hit on Wednesday with RIM , Monsanto and Best Buy all reporting earnings.
The dollar edged higher against the euro and Swiss franc Friday, marginally supported by improving money market conditions that helped ease the impact of generally bleak U.S. economic data.
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.
The dollar rallied Thursday after suffering steep losses in the last two sessions, rising on data showing the U.S. economy grew in the fourth quarter in line with market expectations.
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.
The dollar fell for a second straight session Wednesday after an unexpected drop in durable goods orders heightened worries about the health of the U.S. economy and backed expectations of further interest rate cuts.
The dollar retreated broadly Tuesday, posting its steepest loss against the euro in two weeks, hurt by concerns about the health of the U.S. economy and the global financial sector.
The dollar rallied across the board Monday on better-than-expected U.S. existing home sales data and J.P. Morgan's higher offer for Bear Stearns shares, which boosted Wall Street stocks.
The U.S. dollar inched lower against the euro on Friday but held on to much of the gains it made the previous day when investors sold commodities including oil and gold and repatriated cash back into the dollar.
For the short week ending Thursday, March 20, 2008 the US Markets ended up. Market moving events include the JP Morgan Chase takeover of Bear Stearns and a Fed rate cut of 75 basis points. The Dow gained 420 points on Tuesday, only to give back 293 points the next day. A rally today kept the Dow, S&P, and NASDAQ up 3.43%, 3.21%, and 2.06% for the week, their best performance in 7 weeks. Next week, the markets will watch for the economic data including Durable Goods, GDP, and Personal Income numbers. Earnings from Lennar (LEN) will give another read on the housing sector.
The dollar made its biggest gain since mid-December against the euro Thursday as investors sold oil, gold and other commodities and repatriated their cash back into the beleaguered U.S. currency.
The dollar briefly reversed losses against the euro on Wednesday in volatile trading, drawing support from losses in gold futures.
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.
The dollar posted gains against the yen and the euro on Tuesday after the Federal Reserve slashed benchmark interest rates by 75 basis points.
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.
The dollar tumbled to a 12-1/2 year low against the Japanese yen on Monday and record levels against the euro and the Swiss franc as emergency liquidity-boosting measures by the Federal Reserve over the weekend failed to ease worries about the U.S. financial sector.