Front Page

  • 2020-02-20 04:30

    By Les Commons and Laurie Laird

    LONDON (MNI) - UK retail sales rebounded after a slowdown in the latter part of 2019, providing more evidence that the economy may be recovering modestly after stagnating in the final three months of last year.

    The following are the key points from January retail sales data published Thursday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Retail sales rose by 0.9% between December and January, the biggest rise since March 2019, outpacing the Bloomberg median forecast of a 0.7% gain.

    - Ex-fuel sales growth was even more robust, jumping by 1.6% in January, the strongest gain since May 2018.

  • 2020-02-19 21:30

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's central bank cut its one-year Loan Prime Rate (LPR) by 10 bps to 4.05% on Thursday while also cutting the five-year LPR by 5 bps to 4.75%.

    The reductions, announced in a statement on the People's Bank of China (PBOC) website, are in line with market expectations after the central bank lowered interbank borrowing costs earlier this month.

    A MNI story on Monday also signalled the LPR would be guided lower.

  • 2020-02-19 14:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the January meeting:

    Since year-end, money market rates remained stable, with the Desk's longer-term repos maturing with no discernible effect on market conditions and reserve management purchases of Treasury bills proceeding smoothly. At the current pace of $60 billion per month, the staff's estimates suggested that after April of this year, the Desk's reserve management purchases will restore the permanent base of reserves to levels above those prevailing in early September 2019.

  • 2020-02-19 14:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the January meeting:

    The staff's briefing on considerations regarding the use of an inflation range focused on three different concepts of an inflation range. First, an uncertainty range could communicate the magnitude of the inherent variability of inflation that would still be consistent with achieving the Committees symmetric inflation objective.

  • 2020-02-16 20:44

    By Archie Zhang

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's current account is likely to register a surplus as the phase-one trade deal boosted trade and inflows foreign investment rose, Xuan Changneng, the deputy administrator of State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), said at a briefing on Saturday.

    China will keep a basic balance in international payments despite the coronavirus epidemic, the impact of which is short-term and limited, Xuan said.

    Here are other major points from a joint press conference by several ministries:

    - China won't see a large-scale inflation, even as interrupted businesses affect supplies, according to Fan Yifei, a deputy governor of the People's Bank of China.

  • 2020-02-16 19:40

    --Japan Q4 Real GDP -1.6% Q/Q, -6.3% Annualized
    --Japan Q4 Domestic Demand Contribution -2.1 PP
    --Japan Q4 Capex -3.7% Q/Q, -0.6 PP Contribution

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's economy contracted for the first time in five quarters in Q4, down 1.6% q/q, or an annualized -6.3%.

  • 2020-02-14 10:11

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's housing market remained tight in January with average prices rising the most since mid-2016 and measures of the inventory of properties for sale the lowest in more than a decade.

    The average price of $504,350 was up 11.2% from a year earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday from Ottawa. The Toronto area is among the hottest markets while declines in Vancouver are fading, with quality-adjusted prices in both cities up more than 50% from five years ago.

    The return of housing market strain is a big reason the BOC is reluctant to cut the G7's highest interest rate of 1.75%, because faster growth now could come at the expense of a bigger setback down the road.

  • 2020-02-14 05:55

    BEIJING (MNI) - China's bank regulator has asked banks to ease requirements on non-performing loans (NPLs) and reduce the lending rate charged to small businesses by more than 0.5 percentage point this year, said Li Junfeng, director of the Inclusive Finance Department of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

    Loans with modest overdue payments because of the coronavirus outbreak won't count as NPLs or affect small businesses' credit ratings, Li said at a press briefing on Friday.

  • 2020-02-13 22:05

    TOKYO (MNI) - Japan's gross domestic product for the October-December period might have contracted sharply on the back of the slowdown in overseas economies, natural disasters and the post tax hike impact, according to a senior Bank of Japan official.

    Speaking on Friday, Eiji Maeda, the executive director in charge of monetary policy at the BOJ told lawmakers, "There is the possibility that Japan's economy had contracted sharply for the fourth quarter.

    "But looking ahead, downside risks (to economic activity and prices) will likely weaken and a moderate economic recovery will continue and prices will rise amid solid capital investment and government spending."

    Maeda said the BOJ needs to pay attention to the impact of the coronavirus on foreign tourism in Japan and

  • 2020-02-13 21:31

    TOKYO (MNI) - Seiji Adachi, a private economist with a reputation as a reflationist, is set to become a Bank of Japan board member on March 26 after the government's nomination was approved by Japan's Diet.

    Japan's Upper House plenary session on Friday approved Adachi as the successor to BOJ board member Yutaka Harada, whose term ends on March 25.

    On Thursday, Japan's Lower House plenary session approved the government's nomination.

    The appointment of Adachi, who is known as an advocate of aggressive monetary easing, was first announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Government on Jan.