- 12 Mar 2011:Like the oil spike that roiled markets in recent weeks, Friday's quake offers yet another reminder of how vulnerable aging, slow-growing, debt-burdened economies are to a shock even in what is supposed to be a period of global economic expansion.
- China has offered to send earthquake rescuers and extended its "deep sympathy and solicitudes to the Japanese government and people" on Friday, marking some of the first sober words exchanged between the two nations in months. Last fall relations between Beijing and Tokyo reached their worst point in years.
- 7 Mar 2011:The Obama administration is considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to rapidly rising gasoline prices brought on by turmoil in the Middle East. Oil for April delivery settled at US$104.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday.
- 6 Mar 2011:Japan's greying population of around 128 million grew by just 0.2% over 2005-10, the slowest rate of growth since records began in 1920, new census data said.
- 4 Mar 2011:The UN's Food Price Index rose 2.2% in February to the highest level since the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) began monitoring prices in 1990. It also warned that spikes in the oil price could make the "already precarious" situation in the food market even worse.
- 24 Feb 2011:Oil prices climbed to their highest level in 30 months in London today as Libya's uprising reduced shipments and sparked fears of unrest spreading across the Middle East.
- 18 Feb 2011:The European Parliament has ratified a free-trade pact between the EU and South Korea - clearing the way for the deal to come into effect from July.
- 17 Feb 2011:Japan and India have signed a free-trade agreement that will see tariffs on 94% of goods scrapped within a decade.
- 15 Feb 2011:At its current rate of growth, analysts see China replacing the US as the world's top economy in about a decade.
- 11 Feb 2011:The International Monetary Fund has issued a report on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in US policy.
- 10 Feb 2011:German exports rose 0.5% in December to round out a year of strong growth, increasing 18.5% in 2010, figures show.
- 8 Feb 2011:Japan's economy will emerge from a lull soon and is certain to pull out of deflation over time, a Bank of Japan policymaker said, offering a somewhat upbeat take on the outlook on budding signs of a recovery.
- Taiwan's dollar rose past NT$29 against the greenback for the first time since 1997 on speculation the central bank is letting the currency strengthen as foreign funds buy the island's assets.
- 7 Feb 2011:Unemployment fell sharply for a second straight month in January. Still, many economists find the two-month drop, the largest since 1958, too good to be true and expect it to edge back up in the months ahead.
- 21 Jan 2011:China has apparently overtaken Japan as the world's second-largest economy, after data released on Jan. 20 showed double-digit growth for 2010. The growth effectively displaces its Asian neighbor from a global ranking it has held since 1968.
- 18 Jan 2011:Foreign direct investment in China hit a record US$105.7 billion last year, highlighting growing confidence in the economy even as Beijing seeks to rein in growth. China attracted US$14.03 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in December alone, up 15.6% from a year earlier.
- 17 Jan 2011:China's President Hu Jintao has said the international currency system was "a product of the past." He also implicitly criticized the Federal Reserve's recent decision to pump 600 billion dollars into the US economy, a move criticized as weakening the dollar at the expense of other countries' exports. The comments came ahead of a state visit to Washington on Wednesday.
- 14 Jan 2011:The global economy will slow this year, with developing countries such as India and China providing a greater share of growth, the World Bank has predicted.
- 3 Jan 2011:Factory output growth eased in India and China in December, but strengthened in South Korea and Taiwan, narrowing a gap in manufacturing activity between much of developing Asia and the region's emerging economic giants.
- The price of copper has hit a new all-time high, rounding off a year in which industrial metals rebounded strongly. It peaked at US$9,631.75 per metric tonne on the London Metal Exchange, before falling back slightly.
- 29 Dec 2010:Gold prices surged above US$1,400 an ounce on December 28 as a weaker dollar pushed investors into the safe haven of precious metals. Gold also seems to be gaining value based on its own track record for 2010, when global economic instability made it the go-to investment for jittery traders.
- 23 Dec 2010:Crude-oil futures on Wednesday settled above US$90 a barrel for the first time since October 2008, riding a growing wave of optimism about the global recovery.
- 19 Dec 2010:Germany's economy is fueling the euro region's recovery as declining unemployment encourages consumer demand and companies boost investment, helping counter weaker exports.
- 10 Dec 2010:China's exports for November 2010 were up 34.9% versus a year earlier, compared with an expected 25%. In October the increase was only 22.9%.
- 6 Dec 2010:What a long, strange trip it's been for the South Korea-US free trade agreement. The two sides announced this weekend that they've reached a deal on revisions to the draft that was signed in 2007 but never ratified. It comes not a moment too soon, given the boost this will give to a US economy stumbling its way to recovery and with tensions rising on the Korean peninsula.
- 3 Dec 2010:Theoretically, that makes sense: The more dollars in the economy, the less valuable the currency. But from what we've seen - at least so far - the critics are wrong. The greenback's gains have been surprisingly good recently.
- 26 Nov 2010:"Japanese should have the courage to open the county much wider and compete globally, because Japan has no choice but to depend on foreign trade for survival..."
- 24 Nov 2010:The semiconductor sector of Abu Dhabi's economy is set to pump US$4 billion into the capital, creating up to 6,000 new employment positions in Abu Dhabi over the next decade, according to industry insiders.
- 16 Nov 2010:October inflation hit a higher-than-expected 4.4%, up from September's 3.6%, the Bureau of Statistics said. It added that the government needed to do more to control price rises.
- 9 Nov 2010:Gold prices surged above US$1,400 a troy ounce on November 8, setting a fresh nominal all-time high after World Bank president Robert Zoellick said leading economies should look at a modified global gold standard to guide currency movements.
- 22 Oct 2010:Rare earth metals are sprinkled in a vast number of the things that make the modern world go round - from iPods to windturbines, electric car engines to flat-screen TVs and smart-bombs. The reason you'll hear a lot about them is 1) because China currently controls 93-97% of the world's production and 2) because China is enforcing strict new quotas on the exports of rare earths which is pushing up global prices sharply.
- 14 Oct 2010:Solar energy and wind power will be strategic industries leading Korea's economy, with the government deciding to invest 40 trillion won in the renewable energy field by 2015 in partnership with the private sector so they can take the place in the nation's economy semiconductors and shipbuilding had in the past.
- The US currency was quoted at 81.21 yen in early Thursday (October 14) trading in Tokyo - losing more ground against the Japanese currency after briefly recovering from a prior 15-year low of 81.37 yen struck in Sydney on Monday.
- 15 Sep 2010:The central bank stepped in to sell yen and buy dollars, a day after the yen hit a 15-year high against the dollar. It is the first time in six years that the Bank of Japan has intervened.
- 14 Sep 2010:Russia applied to join the WTO's predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade or GATT, in June 1993 but remains the biggest economy outside the trade body and has previously accused the US of holding up its bid.
- 9 Sep 2010:The US trade deficit was smaller than expected in July, figures have shown, as exports reached their highest level in almost two years.
- 6 Sep 2010:A key reason for the Aussie's status as a favourite in the speculative community is that it is seen as providing investors with exposure to Asian markets and booming commodity prices.
- 1 Sep 2010:"Markets are broadly interpreting this as an improvement in the economy, but overall consumer confidence is still very, very bad," said Tim Quinlan, an economist with Wells Fargo. "We went from being severely depressed about the outlook, to just being depressed about the outlook."
- 31 Aug 2010:But analysts called the measures too timid in the face of the problems plaguing Japan's export-oriented economy.
- A "lost decade" in US employment reflects a change in the structure of the nation's labor market, according to Mohamed El-Erian, CEO at Pacific Investment Management Co.
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