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  • Samurai bond issuance back above 2 trillion yen

    TOKYO -- For the first time in five years, foreign companies have issued more than 2 trillion yen ($19.33 billion) of yen-denominated bonds in Japan. Issuers in the year ending March 31 have included U.S. and Australian banks that did not raise

    February 22, 2014 12:56 am JST
  • Obama seeks North American 'united front' on TPP

    WASHINGTON -- The leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico will push together for a quick but ambitious cross-Pacific trade deal and are likely to bring their combined pressure to bear on Japan and other Asian partners. The trio, partners in the 2

    February 21, 2014 06:58 am JST
  • Japan cheese prices climb as China takes a bigger slice of the market

    TOKYO -- Import prices of natural cheese from the Oceania region are rising in Japan as emerging markets like China buy more dairy products. Imports account for 75% of the Japanese cheese market. Australia and New Zealand account for some 70% of

    February 20, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • For Australia, a woman's place is in the C-suite

    SYDNEY -- Audra Eng is a self-proclaimed tech nerd. As a girl, she liked playing with Legos more than dolls and wrote her first computer program at age 9. Eng, now 41, is vice president in charge of product management at Atlassian, a Sydney-base

    February 17, 2014 07:00 pm JST
  • Markets on edge as commodities 'super cycle' ends

    TOKYO -- Emerging economies and natural resource exporters are feeling the pinch as the global "super cycle" of high commodity prices continues to wind down. During a super cycle, prices of minerals, foodstuffs and all other commodities rise sim

    February 17, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • Crazy weather disrupting economic activity worldwide

    LONDON -- A merciless cold snap gripping the U.S., blizzards burying Japan, record rainfall inundating the U.K., and droughts searing South America. Abnormal weather patterns are wreaking havoc across the world, and while the impact on production is

    February 15, 2014 06:33 am JST
  • Keep an eye on the commodities price conundrum

    It's a bit of a puzzle. Growth in the biggest emerging markets, China included, has slowed in recent months. The dollar, meanwhile, has been gaining strength. In principle, this should send commodity prices tumbling. And yet they are generally h

    February 13, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • Is Australia finished tamping down its dollar or just taking a breather?

    SYDNEY -- The Reserve Bank of Australia recently signaled a shift from its accommodative monetary posture, surprising the market in the process. At its policy board meeting on Feb. 4, the central bank decided to keep its key interest rate unchan

    February 13, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • Suppliers may follow Toyota out of Australia

    NAGOYA -- With Toyota planning to end Australian production, Denso and other affiliated autoparts makers will also rethink their operations Down Under. Denso is expected to stop making air conditioners, instrument panels and other components loc

    February 12, 2014 02:00 am JST
  • Australia's free trade deals speed Toyota pullout

    MELBOURNE -- Yet another global automaker is putting Australia in its rearview mirror, exiting a country that has been overrun by imported cars as a consequence of reduced tariffs. Toyota Motor on Monday became the last big carmaker to call it qui

    February 11, 2014 06:00 am JST
  • Toyota to pull plug on Australia production

    SYDNEY -- Toyota Motor has decided to stop making cars in Australia, bringing the country's auto industry closer to the end. Increasing competition from imports, a strong Australian dollar and high labor costs have made life difficult for carmak

    February 10, 2014 02:40 pm JST
  • Is Australia finished tamping down its dollar or just taking a breather?

    SYDNEY -- The Reserve Bank of Australia recently signaled a shift from its accommodative monetary posture, surprising the market in the process. At its policy board meeting last Tuesday, the central bank decided to keep its key interest rate unc

    February 10, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • Cheese prices climb in Japan as China opts for powdered milk

    TOKYO -- Import prices of natural cheese from the Oceania region are rising in Japan as emerging markets like China step up purchases of dairy products. Of all the cheese consumed in Japan, 75% comes from abroad, with Australia and New Zealand a

    February 8, 2014 06:26 am JST
  • Australia's central bank shows it's ready to end easing

    SYDNEY -- The Reserve Bank of Australia has sent the clearest signals yet that it has finished cutting interest rates, as evidence piles up that the country's economy is responding to very cheap credit. The bank's governor, Glenn Stevens, is als

    February 6, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • The silver lining to America's 'fizzling pivot'

    WASHINGTON -- On the face of it, Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate majority leader, was simply doing what any self-respecting protectionist might do in response to a government initiative seen as a potential threat to local jobs: A day after President Bar

    February 5, 2014 07:58 pm JST
  • Japan hopes to cow U.S. with beef bluff

    TOKYO -- Could the prospect of losing Japanese dinner tables to cheaper Australian beef convince America to lessen its pressure for drastic tariff concessions? Japan thinks so. With Australia's new government, headed by Prime Minister Tony Abbot

    February 4, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Demand in Japan, China bodes well for heavy equipment stocks

    TOKYO -- Booming construction in Japan and China is providing support to the sagging bottom lines of Japan's big construction machinery makers such as Komatsu. The sector's slump may be ending, as manufacturers benefit from rising construction

    February 2, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Australia mulls end to carmaker subsidies by 2020

    SYDNEY -- With Australia's tax revenue shrinking and manufacturers still fleeing, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government is considering a proposal to cut off financial support to automakers. Australia offers manufacturers subsidies based on suc

    February 1, 2014 07:00 am JST
  • Talk growing of New Zealand interest-rate hike in March

    TOKYO -- There is widespread speculation that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will soon raise the official cash rate as the country's economy grows and inflation pressures mount. Many market players believe this could happen in March. The situat

    January 30, 2014 07:00 pm JST
  • Japan's Itochu climbs aboard Australian rail project

    TOKYO -- An international consortium including Itochu will supply rolling stock and build a rail depot in the Australian state of Queensland, the Japanese trading house said Wednesday. Including long-term maintenance, the order will be worth A$4

    January 30, 2014 12:51 am JST