japan

Asian Markets Are Mixed as Investors Eye U.S. Elections

In Asia on Tuesday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.1%, China's Shanghai Composite inched down 0.3%. and in Japan, the Nikkei 225 crept up 0.1%. Investors are closely monitoring the U.S. midterm elections, with many predicting that if the Democrats lose their majorities in both the House and the Senate, the dollar will continue to slide.

To Topple Toyota, Volkswagen Must Accelerate in the U.S.

VW has set a hefty goal for itself: to displace Toyota as the world's No. 1 car company. The German automaker is actually within reach, thanks mainly to its huge lead in China. To overtake Toyota, however, VW will need to really ramp up sales in the American market.

Nissan to Recall 2.14 Million Vehicles

Nissan Motor Co. (NSANY) will recall 2.14 million vehicles because of a flawed ignition relay that could create problems with the engine. The recalls are mostly in Japan, with 835,000 units, and in the United States and Canada, with a total of 762,000 units, Reuters reported. About a dozen different models are affected, including the March/ Micra and the Cube.

Volkswagen on Track to Overtake Toyota, CEO Says

Volkswagen (VLKAY) CEO Martin Winterkorn said the company is on track to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) as the world%u2019s largest automaker. The German company beat Toyota%u2019s full-year profit goal in the first nine months.

Japan, U.S. Sign Treaty to Boost Air Travel

Japan and the U.S. signed a treaty that will reduce barriers to flights between the countries and encourage collaboration between the countries%u2019 airlines, Bloomberg News reported. "I am optimistic that we will see an increase in the numbers of passengers traveling between our countries," said U.S. Ambassador John Roos, after signing the treaty in Tokyo.

Sony Cuts PSPgo Prices Ahead of Holiday Season

Sony Corp. (SNE) will slash the price of its PSPgo portable game player ahead of the holiday period. The company will cut the price of the PSPgo to $199 from $249 in the United States and to 16,800 yen ($207) from 26,800 yen in Japan, Reuters said.

Dollar Falls to 15-Year Low Against Yen

The dollar fell to a 15-year low against the yen and the weakest since January against the euro on speculation that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy. The dollar slipped 0.8% to 81.13 yen at 6:37am in New York, from 81.81 yen on Wednesday. Earlier, it fell to 80.89 yen, the weakest since 1995. The dollar fell to as low as $1.4122 against the euro, the weakest since Jan. 26.

Honda Fit Hybrid Battles Toyota Prius in Japan

Honda unveiled its new hybrid Fit subcompact in Tokyo Friday. At a starting price of around $19,160, it is cheaper than any other hybrid vehicle in Japan -- including Toyota's popular Prius.

Stocks Soar on Services Growth and Japan's Rate Cut

The Dow surged nearly 200 points, while inflation fears propelled gold to another record close. The Institute for Supply Management said its services index rose to 53.2 last month from 51.5 in August. Economists had expected the measure to rise to 52.

Japan Cuts Interest Rate to Zero

Japan's central bank has cut its key interest rate to a range of 0% to 0.1%, effectively introducing a zero-interest-rate policy.

Toshiba Unveils No-Glasses 3-D TV

Toshiba (TOSBF) unveiled a new 3-D TV that viewers can watch without wearing special glasses. The 3-D liquid crystal display TV uses a high-definition screen backlit with LEDs, a special sheet on the screen and chip technology to display information from nine images, The New York Times reported.

AIG May Sell Japanese Units to Prudential Financial for $5 Billion

American International Group (AIG) may sell two Japanese life-insurance units to Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) for a total of as much as $5 billion, The Wall Street Journal said. The agreement is currently "a few days away" from being ready, The Wall Street Journal said without naming its sources.

Nissan Raises China Production Target

Nissan (NSANY) raised its production target for China, the world%u2019s largest auto market. The Japanese automaker raised its production target to 1.2 million units in 2012, from a previous target of 1 million, BBC News reported. The company currently produces 670,000 units a year in China.

Steve Jobs is not a Ninja

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is disputing reports that he'll never return to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars...

Japan Gets a Boost From Exports

Mired in deflation and stagnant for decades, Japan has been the economic basket case of the developed world, a cautionary example of malaise run amuck. But because it's export-oriented, the world's third-largest economy is getting an unexpected lift from roaring growth

Yen Gains to 15-Year High Against U.S. Dollar

The yen strengthened to a 15-year high against the U.S. dollar as investors bet against the country%u2019s policy to limit the gains in the currency. The yen strengthened to 83.34 per dollar, compared to 83.80 late Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

TV Sales Grow Globally, But Not in North America

Americans are buying fewer televisions, according to a new report from DisplaySearch. Overall, North American TV shipments fell 3% in the second quarter, even as worldwide shipments grew 26%.

Japan Airlines to Cut 16,000 Jobs in Restructuring

Japan Airlines plans to slash its workforce and reduce the number of planes in its fleet as part of its bankruptcy restructuring. The airline aims to eliminate more than 16,000 positions, BBC News reported. Some of these reductions will come through early retirement and the sale of subsidiaries.

Bank of Japan Unveils Measures to Contain Yen, Boost Economy

Japan%u2019s central bank unveiled new measures to stem the rise in the value of the yen and boost the country%u2019s flagging economy. Following an emergency meeting, the central bank announced a new six-month low-interest loan program to financial institutions, raising the total amount of credit available to banks to 30 trillion yen ($355 billion), The Associated Press reported. Policy-makers also voted to keep the key interest rate at 0.1%.

Bank of Japan Mulls Action on Rising Yen

The yen eased down a bit on Wednesday from the 15-year and nine-year highs it set Tuesday against the dollar and the euro respectively, with the market watching for possible intervention from Tokyo to curb the currency's rise, which threatens Japan's fragile economic recovery.

Sharp to Cut LCD Production for Two Months

Japanese electronics company Sharp Corp (SHCAY) will cut its production of LCD panels as TV inventories piled up in China and the United States. The company will reduce capacity utilization at its Sakai factory by 20%-30% for as long as two months, Reuters said, citing a report in the Japanese press. The factory makes panels of 40 inches and larger.

Mazda to Recall Over 500,000 Vehicles Worldwide

Mazda is readying to recall over 500,000 vehicles across the world due to a problem with the power steering. Earlier this week, Mazda said it was recalling more than 300,000 vehicles in North America, including 215, 000 in the United States. Today, Mazda said it was widening the recall to markets including China, Europe and Australia, The Financial Times reported.

Now the No. 2 Economy, What's Ahead for China?

According to one China expert, overtaking Japan as the world's second-largest economy doesn't change the underlying economic issues China must resolve, but it does cement changes that have been rapidly making China a far more important player on the global stage

China Overtakes Japan as World's Second-Largest Economy

Japan's nominal GDP, not adjusted for price and seasonal variations, was $1.268 trillion in the second quarter, while China's was $1.335 trillion. Japan%u2019s gross domestic product grew just 0.4% in the second quarter, The Associated Press reported. The figure suggests that China%u2019s economy, which is expected to grow by 10% this year versus Japan%u2019s rate of 2%-3%, will be larger at the end of 2010.

Yen Reaches 15-Year High Against the U.S. Dollar

The Japanese yen hit a 15-year high against the U.S dollar on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve lowered its assessment of the U.S. economy and said it will reinvest some bond holdings. The yen has strengthened 11% against the dollar since May, raising the possibility that Japanese authorities may intervene to weaken the currency, The Wall Street Journal reported. The yen generally strengthens during periods of economic uncertainty because investors view it as a safe haven.