Asian stock markets turned cautious on Wednesday while the U.S. dollar crept higher as looming euro zone meetings to discuss the Greek debt crisis threatened to produce more confusion than clarity.
Canada and Japan must open their markets to farm imports under a Pacific trade pact, the chairman of a U.S. congressional committee responsible for trade said on Thursday, adding that any country that cannot meet the deal's goals should drop out.
Toyota Motor Corp lifted its operating profit guidance on Wednesday in a widely expected move, as a weaker yen increases the value of sales overseas and makes up for slumping demand at home.
After December's landslide re-election, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's program to revive the nation's economy is set to meet perhaps its stiffest challenge, the nation's sclerotic farming industry.
Japan began deliberating its 2030 targets for power generation on Friday, a process likely to turn contentious when nuclear restarts are considered even as the much delayed cleanup at Fukushima continues four years after the meltdowns there.
Investors wiped $35 billion off Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) market value on Tuesday without any clear-cut, single explanation. The world's largest software company, whose shares had climbed about 30 percent over the past 12 months to near 15-year highs, instead worried investors with a series of troubling signals in its earnings report and conference call on Monday.
Microsoft Corp on Monday reported a fall in its quarterly profit that was in line with Wall Street forecasts, as sluggish personal computer sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with the impact of the strong U.S. dollar.
Japan's exports grew the most in a year in December, helped by a weak yen and a pick-up in overseas demand led by the United States, an encouraging sign for the recession-hit economy even as doubts persist about the strength of global consumption.
The European Central Bank is poised to announce a plan on Thursday to buy government bonds, resorting to its last big policy tool for breathing life into the flagging euro zone economy and fending off deflation.
Oil prices edged up on Wednesday in a further sign of support around current levels, but analysts said the outlook for the next six months remained bleak due to oversupply.
The Swiss currency shock has raised an awkward question many investors have been fearful of asking - what if central banks become as unpredictable and fallible as they are powerful?
After a head-spinning bout of volatility, next week will be dominated by one question: Will the European Central Bank take the ultimate policy leap or pull its punches?
Unease over the global economy engulfed commodities and dented Asian equities on Wednesday, while the euro loitered near nine-year lows as investors bet the European Central Bank was just a week away from launching a new stimulus campaign.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised on Sunday to pursue predictable policies and ensure stable taxes, in a speech that sought to address concerns for foreign investors in Asia's third-largest economy.
The U.S. dollar took a dip on Monday as Asian investors caught up with a benign payrolls report and the subsequent slide in Treasury yields, though turnover was light with Tokyo on holiday.
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