Japan

Nikkei surges 4 per cent on strong March industrial output

Nikkei surges 4 per cent on strong March industrial outputTokyo - Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 4 per cent Thursday on March industrial output data and optimism over a possible US economic recovery.

The Nikkei index surged 339.87 points, or 4 per cent, to close morning trading at 8,833.64, and the broader Topix index of all first-section issues also rose 29.05 points, or 3.6 per cent, to 841.04.

Investors returned from a national holiday Thursday to buy a wide range of issues after the nation's industrial production data for March came out stronger than expected.

Japanese prime minister arrives in China for talks

Japanese prime minister arrives in China for talks Beijing  - Japanese Prime Minister  arrived in China Wednesday for two days of talks that were expected to focus on issues including the global financial crisis and North Korea.

Aso was scheduled to meet Chinese leaders including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said before the visit.

Pioneer to raise 25 million dollars in fresh capital from Honda

Pioneer to raise 25 million dollars in fresh capital from Honda Tokyo - Pioneer Corp plans to raise 2.5 billion yen (25.85 million dollars) in fresh capital from one of its business partners, Honda Motor Co, the firm said Tuesday. Honda will pay 170 yen for each of Pioneer's 14.7 million new shares and to become the second-largest shareholder with a 6.54-per-cent stake after Sharp Corp, according to Japan's business daily The Nikkei.

Honda's net profit dives 77.2 per cent for fiscal 2008

Honda Motor CorporationTokyo - Honda Motor Co reported Tuesday its net profit plunged 77.2 per cent in fiscal 2008 that ended March 31, to 137 billion yen (1.4 billion dollars) as it suffered from the yen's surge and a sales decline caused by the global economic downturn. Japan's second-largest automaker saw operating profit nosedive 80.1 per cent to 189.6 billion yen because of sales declines, increased raw material costs and a stronger yen, the company said.

Sales for the year dropped 16.6 per cent to 10.01 trillion yen from the previous fiscal year.

Tokyo stocks lose 2 per cent over swine flu fears

Japan EconomyTokyo - Tokyo stocks lost more than 2 per cent to close Tuesday trading on fears of swine flu and concerns over the US economy. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average plunged 232.57 points, or 2.67 per cent, to close at 8,493.77.

The broader Topix index of all first-section issues was also down 21.11 points, or 2.53 per cent, at 811.99.

The market entered positive territory at the end of morning trading on pharmaceutical shares.

Japan urges citizens to put off Mexico trips, return home

Japan urges citizens to put off Mexico trips, return home Tokyo  - The Japanese government on Tuesday urged its citizens to postpone trips to Mexico and those who live there to return at an early date.

Prime Minister Taro Aso has set up a task force Tuesday morning and raised the alert level after the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded the pandemic alert level to phase 4, following a swine flu outbreak in Mexico which may have caused as many as 149 deaths so far.

Phase 4 means that there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus in at least one country, according to the WHO.

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