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BRUSSELS EU trade ministers agreed on Thursday to start negotiations towards a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Japan, officials said, overcoming resistance from European carmakers who fear a deal might damage their industry. “Commission has a mandate for Japan FTA negotiation,” said one EU official in a text message. The agreement gives the European Commission, the EU executive, authority to negotiate with Japan on behalf of the 27 EU member states. An EU-Japan FTA would bring together two trading partners responsible for a third of global economic output and could create 400,000 jobs in Europe alone. But the complexity of the […]

TOKYO Japanese fund managers slightly increased their asset allocations to shares on the prospect of more monetary easing in the developed world and a pickup in Chinese economy, a Reuters poll showed. At the same time, however, they trimmed their weighting on Japanese shares to seven-month low as they viewed Tokyo shares’ strong performance this month as driven by unrealistic hopes of more money-printing in Japan after next month’s election. A survey of 10 Japan-based fund managers, polled between November 15 and 21, also showed they trimmed their overall bond allocation for two months in a row after notching it […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks rose in early Thursday trading, as a strong performance for U.S. share markets overnight and a tick down for the yen helped lead exporters higher, more than offsetting scattered weakness in the retail sector. The Nikkei Stock Average climbed 0.7% to 9,370.77, with the Topix up 0.8%, as the dollar regained the �82 level. Export majors were among the biggest advancers, as Hitachi Ltd. jumped 2.3%, Advantest Corp. rose 3%, and chemical maker Tosoh Corp. rose 2.4%. Among auto makers, which were due to report monthly domestic sales later in the day, Toyota Motor Corp. rose […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks fell in early Wednesday trading, following a loss on Wall Street over concerns about slow negotiations on the U.S. fiscal cliff. After a series of recent advances, the Nikkei Stock Average fell 0.5% to 9,376.07, with the Topix also down 0.5%, and as the yen remained in a tight range against the dollar and euro. Exporters, which had led much of the gains over the past days, moved lower, with Pioneer Corp. falling 3%, Mazda Motor Corp. losing 1.6%, and Sony Corp. down 1% amid a Reuters report that investment banks had approached the firm over […]

Michael Woodford fired as Olympus CEO after he exposed a $ 1.7 billion cover-upWoodford was appointed as first foreign CEO when a local magazine broke newsOlympus shares lost around 80% of their market value in weeks afterWoodford: Case highlights the dysfunctionality of corporate JapanHong Kong — When CEO-turned-whistleblower Michael Woodford exposed a $ 1.7 billion cover-up of losses at Olympus, he was forced to flee from Japan, fearing for his life, as the scandal sent shockwaves through the country’s tight-knit corporate world.The 52-year-old Briton had barely settled in to his new role as the company’s first foreign chief executive when […]

Japan Stocks Slip As Yen Strengthens

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks traded mildly weaker in early Tuesday action, with stronger yen helping to send the blue-chip Nikkei Stock Average slipping 0.1% lower to 9,382.95 after a series of recent gains. The broader Topix index fell 0.2%. With the U.S. dollar falling back below �82 and the euro also lower, Japanese exporters saw some losses, as Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. each fell 1%, while Sharp Corp. lost 1.8%, and Panasonic Corp. fell 0.7%. Among the auto majors, Toyota Motor Corp. dropped 0.7%, Honda Motor Co. retreated 1.2%, and Nissan Motor Co. gave up 1.9%. Utilities were weak, […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks rallied in early Monday trading, catching up to gains Friday in Asia, when Tokyo was on holiday, as well as a strong Wall Street performance at the end of last week. Exporters also got a boost as the euro broke above the 107-yen level early in the day, marking a seven-month high. The Nikkei Stock Average gained 1.1% to 9,474.04, with the Topix up 1.2%. Names with strong euro exposure on the climb included Canon Inc. , up 2.1%; Mazda Motor Corp. rising 2.3%; and Pioneer Corp. , ahead by 4.1%. A report Monday in the […]

LOS ANGELES In what’s become a familiar story recently, Japanese stocks barreled higher in early Thursday moves as exporter shares surged on a weakening yen. With the U.S. dollar rising above the �82.5 level to hit its highest point since the spring, the Nikkei Stock Average jumped 1.2% to 9,333.91 in the opening minutes — a more than six month high — while the Topix gained 1.1%. Top gains among the tech blue-chips included a 3.1% rise for Sharp Corp. , a 2.7% improvement for Pioneer Corp. , and a 3.9% advance for Advantest Corp. . Auto stocks also extended […]

Japan Stocks Ride Yen To Fresh Gains

LOS ANGELES A drop in the yen, exacerbated by weak Japanese trade data, sent exporters’ stocks rallying in Tokyo early Wednesday, with auto makers leading the gains. The Nikkei Stock Average shot 1% upward to 9,235.83, with the broader Topix benchmark up 0.9%. Ahead of the market open, the Finance Ministry reported a 6.5% year-on-year drop in Japanese exports, fueled by another tumble in shipments to China amid tensions between the two nations. The data sent the yen falling against the dollar and euro, extending the currency’s overnight losses, with the dollar hitting a seven-month high against the Japanese unit. […]

LOS ANGELES Japanese stocks opened to small gains Tuesday, following overnight rallies in the U.S. and Europe, with financials trading mostly higher ahead of the Bank of Japan’s policy decision due later in the day. The Nikkei Stock Average advanced 0.2% to 9,166.77, with the Topix rising 0.3%, as the dollar held well above the 81-yen level, adding support for exporters. Major gains among the banks included a 1% rise for Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. , a 0.9% climb for Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. , and a 1.6% improvement for Shinsei Bank Ltd. , while among insurers, Dai-ichi […]

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