Kuroda signals ‘bold’ easing
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda yesterday said that policymakers would live up to market expectations for “bold” monetary easing, ahead of his first policy meeting since taking the post last month. The two-day meeting starts today. “It is not easy to break out of 15 years of deflation,” he told a parliamentary committee, but added: “It is important that we show a strong commitment to mobilizing all the policy measures that the Bank of Japan has and doing everything possible, and that we explain this to markets appropriately” to stoke growth. Kuroda’s remarks stoked speculation that the central bank will launch a new wave of aggressive policy measures that tend to weaken the yen, helping the country’s exporters.
Bank holds rates steady
The central bank kept interest rates on hold at 3 percent yesterday, saying that global downside risks appeared to have eased, but domestic pressures were lingering. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens said there were a “number of indications that the substantial easing of monetary policy during late 2011 and 2012 is having an expansionary effect,” but that more time was needed. “At today’s meeting, the board judged that it was prudent to leave the cash rate unchanged,” he added.
Joblessness at five-year low
Government figures show that the number of people registered as unemployed edged down by a little under 5,000 last month, the first reduction for the month in five years. The Ministry of Employment and Social Security yesterday said the decline showed that the government’s policies are working. However, the scale of the task remains huge as the number of peopel registered as unemployed stands at 5.04 million. The nation is fighting to cut an unemployment rate of about 26 percent.
Boeing retests Dreamliner
Boeing Co conducted another test flight of its 787 passenger jet over the US’ west coast. The company said that Monday’s flight was designed to test system upgrades and not to certify changes in the plane’s batteries. Airlines have 50 of the planes, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner, but they are still grounded after two of them overheated. Boeing is trying to assure regulators that the batteries are safe after some design changes were made.
Swiss mining giant Xstrata PLC and commodities trader Glencore International PLC yesterday announced that they had pushed back the date to finalist their merger further as they wait for approval from Chinese authorities. The companies pushed back the so-called long stop date for the merger to create a global mining and commodities leader to May 2 from April 16. If it obtains the final regulatory approval and completes the court process as set out in the merger agreement, Glencore-Xstrata would enter the stage among the world’s top commodities companies.
Lagardere to sell Amaury
French media giant Lagardere Group yesterday said it is selling its 25 percent stake in Les Editions P Amaury SA, the publisher of newspaper Le Parisien, for 91.4 million euros (US$117.5 million). Amaury, which also publishes sports paper L’Equipe and organizes sporting events such as the Tour de France, will buy back its shares following shareholders approval, Lagardere said in a statement.