Tuesday, 15 March 2011

More bad news from Japan

The news from Japan keeps getting worse.

In the aftermath of Friday's earthquake, Japanese stocks plunged on Monday, with the Nikkei 225 down 6.18 percent, and early on Tuesday, an explosion was heard at another nuclear reactor.

Economic reports have also not been as positive as in recent weeks.

Reuters reports that Japan's industrial production in January has been revised down.

Japan's industrial output rose 1.3 percent in January, revised data showed on Monday.

The figure compared with an initial reading of a 2.4 percent rise and a 3.3 percent increase in December.

And consumer confidence fell in February. Nikkei reports:

Japan's consumer confidence index fell 0.5 point on the month to 40.6 in February, for the first drop in two months, the Cabinet Office said Monday.

The Bank of Japan did agree to pump in more funds at its meeting on Monday though. From AFP/CNA:

The Bank of Japan said it would pump a record 15 trillion yen (US$184 billion) to help stabilise the short term-money market, making good on its pledge Sunday that it would unleash "massive" funds following the quake.

An additional 3 trillion yen will be deployed Wednesday. The BoJ will double a five trillion yen asset purchase scheme to buffer the economy from Japan's strongest ever quake, and left its key rate left at between zero and 0.1 percent.

There was some good news from Europe on Monday though. From Bloomberg:

European industrial production increased in January for a fourth month as companies in Germany, the region’s largest economy, boosted output to meet surging export orders.

Production in the euro area rose 0.3 percent from December, when it also increased 0.3 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. That matched the median forecast of 23 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Production rose 6.6 percent in the year...

European leaders agreed over the weekend to broaden the size and scope of their 440 billion-euro ($614 billion) bailout fund to defuse the region’s debt crisis. They also eased the terms of rescue loans to Greece.

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