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Japan consumer prices rise for 9th straight month


TOKYO: Japan’s core consumer prices marked a ninth straight month of annual gains in September but failed to accelerate from the previous month, underscoring the central bank’s huge task as it struggles to meet an ever-elusive 2% inflation target. Most of September’s scant inflation was driven by continued rises in energy costs, which were partly offset by falling cellphone bills ... Read More »

Japan inflation ticks up in September but way off BoJ target

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TOKYO: Japan’s consumer prices rose for the ninth straight month in September, official data showed Friday, but inflation remained well below the central bank’s target in the world’s third largest economy. Prices rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier after stripping out volatile prices for fresh food, the internal affairs ministry said, buoyed by a rise in energy costs such ... Read More »

Japan’s JERA signs three-year LNG contract with Petronas unit


TOKYO: JERA Co, Japan’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyer, said on Wednesday it signed a three-year LNG purchase agreement with a subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) starting in 2018. JERA, the fuel purchasing joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, will buy 2.5 million tonnes per year (tpy) of LNG from Malaysia LNG Sdn Bhd ... Read More »

BOJ warns of structural woes hurting private banks’ profits


TOKYO: Japanese banks lag behind their global counterparts in boosting profitability as they compete for dwindling lending opportunities in a shrinking market, the country’s central bank said on Monday. Prolonged ultra-loose monetary policy has squeezed margins of financial institutions in many advanced economies including Japan, where its central bank caps borrowing costs at zero percent through aggressive money printing to ... Read More »

Japan’s economy, stocks gather steam ahead of Sunday election


TOKYO: Japan’s stock market will be one to watch on Monday, after a parliamentary election Sunday will either reaffirm or call more deeply into question Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s program of economic reform. Abe called the snap election last month to shore up his sway over parliament after a string of solid economic news drove Japan’s markets to their highest ... Read More »

Japan September copper cable sales fall 0.2% y/y


TOKYO:  Japan’s copper cable shipments, including sales and exports, in September fell 0.2 percent from a year earlier to 60,000 tonnes on an estimated basis, the Japan Electric Wire and Cable Makers’ Association said. Below is the monthly copper wire and cable data (in tonnes): Sep(Estimate Sep Yr-Yr% Aug(Actual) Aug Yr-Yr% Jul Jun May) SHIPMENTS 60,000 53,639 57,117 57,677 51,205 ... Read More »

Japan export, import growth slows in September

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TOKYO: Japan’s exports rose less than expected in September as growth in the value of shipments to North America halved compared to a month prior. The value of Japan’s outbound shipments rose 14.1 per cent year on year in September, according to the Ministry of Finance, marking the tenth month of growth but coming up short of a median estimate ... Read More »

Japan offers $10 bln to support Asian LNG growth

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TOKYO: Japan has announced a $10 billion public-private initiative to support the expansion of Asia’s LNG markets, as the world’s largest LNG consumer aims to develop new demand centers, able to absorb growing global supplies. The initiative will provide financial support to projects supplying LNG to Asia, or supporting demand creation in the region, which already accounts for over 70% ... Read More »

Japan offers to buy 123,736 tons of food wheat via tender


TOKYO: Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture is seeking to buy a total of 123,736 tonnes of food-quality wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia in a regular tender that will close late on Thursday. Japan, the world’s sixth-biggest wheat importer, keeps a tight grip on the country’s second-most important staple after rice, and buys majority of the grain for milling ... Read More »

Japan Sept petchem naphtha imports rise 16% y/y


TOKYO: Japan’s naphtha imports for the petrochemical sector rose 16 percent in September from the same month a year earlier, government figures showed on Monday. Imports of naphtha for ethylene production totalled 1 million tonnes last month, up from 0.87 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Read More »

Sales tax hike is ‘obvious’ choice for Japan debt woes: IMF


  TOKYO: Raising the sales tax is a “very obvious” choice for Japan to get its fiscal house in order, a senior IMF official said on Friday, shrugging off proposals by the country’s opposition parties to freeze a hike scheduled for 2019. The International Monetary Fund logo is seen during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, ... Read More »

Japan’s wholesale prices rise at fastest in nine years, bank lending up

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TOKYO:  Japanese wholesale prices rose in September at the fastest annual pace in almost nine years due to rising prices for gasoline, metals, and agricultural products, but the gains won’t necessarily boost the country’s notoriously weak inflation. Economists expect consumer prices to rise only gradually because many Japanese companies prefer to absorb higher input costs rather than increasing prices, making ... Read More »

Japan’s machinery orders rise 3.4% in August

Morocco’s auto industry exports likely to rise to $10b by 2020

TOKYO: Japan’s core private-sector machinery orders rose 3.4 percent in August on month, the government said in a report on Wednesday. The Cabinet Office, following two successive months of solid orders, raised its assessment, stating machinery orders show “signs of picking up,” marking the first upgrade in 13 months. The orders in the recording period totaled 882.4 billion yen (7.9 ... Read More »

Japan’s current account surplus expands to record ¥2.38 trillion in August

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TOKYO: The current account surplus expanded to ¥2.38 trillion ($21 billion) in August — the highest on record for the month — lifted by foreign investments and a bigger trade surplus, government data showed Tuesday. The surplus in the primary income account, which reflects how much Japan earns from foreign investments, rose 13.0 percent from the year before to ¥2.24 ... Read More »

Japan business activity index dips to 51.0 in August


TOKYO: Japan’s services business activity index dipped from 51.6 in August to 51.0 in September. According to IHS Markit, manufacturing output rose solidly in September, reaching a four-month high. The Nikkei Composite Output Index still dipped to 51.7 in September, down from 51.9 in August. Whilst there was an increase in new work, it was the least marked since November ... Read More »

Japan’s economy likely posted second best stretch of post-war growth


TOKYO: Japan’s economy likely posted its equal second-best stretch of uninterrupted post-war growth, a government index for August showed on Friday, a nod to strong global demand and premier Shinzo Abe’s aggressive stimulus measures. The latest reading comes as Abe heads to a general election later this month and puts his “Abenomics” policies in the spotlight. However, despite the strong ... Read More »

Bank of Japan deputy governor sees ‘good prospect’ of inflation pressure building


TOKYO: There is a “good prospect” of inflation pressure building up in Japan after years of slow consumer price growth, the deputy governor of the country’s central bank said on Thursday. “We believe that the underlying momentum for inflation dynamics in Japan remains intact, as the output gap and inflation expectations continue to improve,” Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi ... Read More »

Japan September services PMI shows growth slowest in 11 months


TOKYO: Japan’s services sector expanded in September at the slowest rate in 11 months as the pace of new orders eased, though a raft of other data suggest the economic recovery remains intact even as momentum may have ebbed slightly in the third quarter. The Markit/Nikkei survey released on Wednesday showed its Japan Services Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to ... Read More »

Bank of Japan tankan corporate inflation expectations flagging

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TOKYO: Companies surveyed by the Bank of Japan expect consumer prices to rise 0.7 percent a year from now, lower than their projection for a 0.8 percent increase three months ago. Japanese companies’ inflation expectations eased slightly in September from three months ago in a worrying sign the economy continues to struggle with a deflationary mindset. Companies surveyed by the ... Read More »

Kuwait’s oil exports to Japan see 1st fall in 4 months


TOKYO: Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan declined 2.3 percent in August from a year earlier to 6.18 million barrels, or 199,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the first fall in four months, government data showed. But Kuwait overtook Qatar to become Japan’s third-biggest oil provider, supplying 6.2 percent of the Asian nation’s total crude imports, the Japanese Natural Resources ... Read More »