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  • 2019-04-19 00:25

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan on Friday unexpectedly reduced the scale of its purchases of longer-end Japanese government bonds.

    - The BOJ Friday lowered its purchases of JGBs with a remaining life of 10 to 25 years to Y160 billion from Y180 billion. The reduction was the first since Feb 12 when the BOJ lowered the scale to Y180 billion from Y200 billion.

    - The amount of purchase of JGBs with a remaining life of more than 25 years was lowered to Y40 billion from Y50 billion. That cut was the first since Sept 21 2018 when the BOJ lowered the scale of Y50 billion from Y60 billion.

    - The reduction weren't expected by JGB players and the operations increased upward pressure on bond yields.

  • 2019-04-18 20:45

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japanese corporate demand for financing via bank loans in April fell from three months ago as the slowing global economy decreased companies' sales and capital investment, according to the Bank of Japan's quarterly survey of senior loan officers at 50 banks released Friday.

    The index for corporate fund demand -- calculated by subtracting the number of banks reporting a decline in lending from the number of those reporting an increase -- came in at +3 in April, down from +4 in January.

  • 2019-04-18 20:30

    --Japan Core CPI Up 0.8% y/y In March Vs. +0.7% in February

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's nationwide core consumer price index rose 0.8% on year in March, accelerating from +0.7% in February. However, Bank of Japan officials maintain cautious on the outlook as they don't expect the rising trend to accelerate sharply.

    The March core CPI continued to be boosted by positive contribution from energy prices (0.39 percentage point in March vs. 0.34 percentage point in February and 0.37 percentage point in January).

    The underlying inflation rate measured by the core-core CPI (excluding fresh food and energy) rose 0.4% on year in March, unchanged from February.

  • 2019-04-18 10:45

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. economy is on track for continued growth and for inflation to remain near target after the Federal Reserve suspended its three-year tightening campaign this year, Richmond Fed research director Kartik Athreya said in an interview Wednesday.

    He added that domestic risks look benign relative to uncertainties from abroad and dismissed concerns that a brief inversion of the three-month-10-year yield curve last month portended a near-term recession, noting that negative term premia have been a drag on long-term rates.

    "Things are coming back to where one would have expected them, and it's not warranted to put a great deal of weight at this point to a recession or a significant downturn.

  • 2019-04-18 08:31

    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the data on Canadian retail sales released Thursday by Statistics Canada:

    - Following three consecutive monthly declines, retail sales rebounded 0.8% in February, beating the market consensus of +0.4%. The increase was the largest since May 2018 and lifted the 12-month growth rate to 1.8% from 0.9%. The gain more than erased the 0.4% drop recorded in January, which was revised from -0.3%.

    - Details were more mixed than the headline suggests. The gain was mostly a price story as real sales, more relevant to GDP, edged up just 0.2%, failing to offset January's 0.3% decrease.

    - In addition, gains were concentrated in 5 of 11 subsectors, even though they represented 73% of retail trade.

  • 2019-04-17 10:00

    --Feb Wholesale Sales Up 0.3%; Inv/Sales Ratio Unch At 1.35
    --Business Sales Tracking +0.2%

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - February wholesale inventories increased by 0.2%, vs. +0.3% expected by both a Bloomberg consensus and an MNI survey of analysts, while wholesale sales were up 0.3% in the month, data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday showed.

    Retail trade sales, those excluding food services sales, were already reported down 0.2% in February's retail sales release, while factory shipments rose 0.4%, so an MNI calculation sees business sales tracking for a 0.2% gain.

    Factory inventories were already reported up 0.3%.

  • 2019-04-17 08:48

    By Yali N'Diaye

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the March data on the Canadian CPI released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - Headline unadjusted CPI rose at a steady pace of 0.7% on the month, as expected by the market and analysts in a MNI survey. On a seasonally adjusted basis, CPI was up 0.3% on the month, and 0.2% excluding food and energy.

    - Increases were recorded in all major categories except for a 0.1% decline in household operations, furnishings and equipment. The largest upward contributor was gasoline, with a monthly gain of 11.6%, the largest since March 2007. CPI excluding gasoline was up 0.4%.

  • 2019-04-17 08:34

    By Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. international trade gap narrowed to $49.4 billion in February from an unrevised $51.1 billion in January, a smaller gap than the $53.4 billion deficit expected by the Bloomberg consensus and the $53.7 billion gap expected by an MNI survey, data released by the Commerce Department Wednesday morning showed.

    Here are the key findings from the release:

    - Imports rose on gains in capital goods ex. autos, and consumer goods. These were partially offset by decreases in industrial supplies and materials, and foods, feeds and beverages.

    - Exports rose on gains in capital goods ex. autos, led by civilian aircraft, and autos.

  • 2019-04-17 08:30

    By Courtney Tower

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are the key points from the February data on Canadian merchandise trade released Wednesday by Statistics Canada:

    - The goods trade deficit narrowed to C$2.9 billion from C$3.1 billion, which was revised from -C$4.2 billion in January. Analysts in a MNI survey and the market had expected a deficit of C$3.5 billion. The trade deficit for the previous month was revised due to late reporting of crude oil transactions, which were revised C$1.2 billion upward.

    - There was a widespread decrease in imports in February after two consecutive monthly increases. Imports declined 1.6% to C$50.9 billion and were down in eight of 11 sub-sectors. Import prices were the cause, down 1.6%, while volumes were essentially unchanged.

  • 2019-04-17 07:16

    --Repeat of story originally published at 0603GMT April 17

    TOKYO (MNI) - Despite rapid growth in real estate loans, the Bank of Japan still sees financial and economic activities as a whole showing no signs of overheating such as seen through the late 80's 'bubble', the BOJ's biannual Financial System Report released Wednesday said.

    However, the report said "possible vulnerabilities of the real estate market warrant close attention."

    The latest FSR again pointed to the accumulated risks caused by prolonged easy policy, but the comments will not prompt the BOJ board to unwind it anytime soon.

    The report also said regional financial institutions have generally not been able to secure profits commensurate with the increase in risk-weighted assets, while their capital