Monday, January 30

Month: December 2022

BOJ Considering Raising Inflation Forecasts to Near 2% Target -Nikkei
Economy

BOJ Considering Raising Inflation Forecasts to Near 2% Target -Nikkei

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) is considering raising its inflation forecasts in January to show price growth close to its 2% target in fiscal 2023 and 2024, Nikkei reported on Saturday.The BOJ jolted markets this month by widening its 10-year yield cap range, a move officially aimed at straightening out bond market distortions but seen by some analysts as a prelude to the exit from its ultra-loose monetary easing.Upgrades to the BOJ's inflation forecast would further fuel such speculation as Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said the central bank could discuss the exit if achievement of its 2% inflation target in tandem with wage hikes comes into sight.Citing people familiar with discussions at the central bank, Nikkei said the proposed changes would show the core consumer price index rising around 3...
Analysis-Modi’s Popularity Key to Selling cut in Food Aid Ahead of Indian Elections
India

Analysis-Modi’s Popularity Key to Selling cut in Food Aid Ahead of Indian Elections

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to effectively halve food rations to the poor ahead of state polls next year and a general election in 2024 is fiscally sound, but politically much depends on whether the charismatic leader can sell it to voters. Subsidised food and other items are key to winning elections in India, where food aid is a legal right and more than 800 million people received an extra 5 kgs of free rice or wheat in the last 28 months as COVID-19 ravaged their finances. The free food programme, however, cost the government around $47 billion, worsened the fiscal deficit and reduced wheat stocks in government warehouses to multi-year lows. From January India will end the additional 5 kgs per person of food aid issued during the COVID-19 pandemic and for one year will is...
Japan to Make Raising Wages a Top Priority, Says Senior Govt official
WORLD NEWS

Japan to Make Raising Wages a Top Priority, Says Senior Govt official

Japan's government will make raising wages a top priority in its economic policy next year, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said on Wednesday. "The biggest challenge for Japan's economy is a lack of wage growth. Unless wages rise, consumption won't pick up and companies won't increase investment," Kihara said, speaking during a television programme. While companies are responsible for deciding how much they hike pay, the government can help achieve higher wages through tax incentives, Kihara said. The government can also prod firms to disclose more information on how much they are spending on human resources, he said. The remarks echo those of Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who has stressed that achieving higher wages would be crucial for the economy to sustainab...
Toyota’s Nov Global Vehicle Production Rises 1.5% to Record 833,104
Economy

Toyota’s Nov Global Vehicle Production Rises 1.5% to Record 833,104

Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM) Corp reported on Monday a 1.5% rise in November global vehicle output, reaching a new record of 833,104. domestic production slid 3.3% to 266,174 vehicles, while overseas output rose 3.8% to an all-time high of 566,930 for the month. Global sales and production in November exceeded last year's levels due to solid demand, particularly in North America, and a recovery in parts supplies that had been impacted by COVID-19 slowdowns, Toyota said. The automaker reported earlier this month it expected to produce 700,000 vehicles in January and held to a reduced goal of 9.2 million in the year through March. Toyota had previously expected to make 9.7 million autos this fiscal year, but was forced to lower the target in November as it struggles with rising materials costs and...
Mexico’s Newest Oil Refinery Now Seen Working At Half Capacity in Mid-2023
Oil

Mexico’s Newest Oil Refinery Now Seen Working At Half Capacity in Mid-2023

Mexican state oil company Pemex's newest refinery will reach half of its crude processing capacity in July, the national president said on Friday, marking the latest shift in timing for the project's operations. The Olmeca oil refinery, being built next to the Dos Bocas port, is set to be Pemex's eighth when it comes on line. It is key to Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's plan to make the country self-sufficient in gasoline and diesel, ending longstanding heavy dependence on imports, mainly from U.S. refiners. Describing the construction of the refinery in his home state, Tabasco, as having happened in "world record time," Lopez Obrador said "on July 1, it will begin to process 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil." By September 15, the day before Mexican Independence D...
Dollar Retreats After Overnight Gains, Ahead of Economic Data Dump
International

Dollar Retreats After Overnight Gains, Ahead of Economic Data Dump

The U.S. dollar slipped lower in early European trade Friday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains as traders attempt to gauge the Federal Reserve’s likely tightening path in the new year. At 02:55 ET (07:55 GMT), the Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, fell 0.2% to 103.877. The dollar posted strong gains on Thursday after data showed that the U.S. labor market remained tight as well as confirming that the country’s economy rebounded in the third quarter at a pace faster than previously estimated, after contracting in the first half of the year. These numbers suggested that the Federal Reserve will have to stay on its aggressive monetary policy tightening path for longer than previously expected in order to get inflation under con...
Chile Fires hit Port and Coastal City, Two Dead
WORLD NEWS

Chile Fires hit Port and Coastal City, Two Dead

A major fire broke out at Chile's Ventanas port near a refinery and smelter belonging to state-run miner Codelco, but the company said on Thursday operations have not been affected. Meanwhile, a separate forest fire south of Ventanas near the coastal tourist city of Viña del Mar raged, killing at least two people while destroying some 200 homes, according to an interior ministry official. That fire has consumed 272 acres (110 hectares) so far, the official said, as fire fighters struggled to contain it. The government also declared a state of emergency in the Viña del Mar area on Thursday night. Codelco's smelter near the Ventanas port was already shut down due to maintenance, while the refinery is operating normally, according to Codelco, the world's top copper producer. No injuries were ...
Oil Extends Rally as U.S. Supplies Tighten Ahead of Demand-Heavy Holidays
Oil

Oil Extends Rally as U.S. Supplies Tighten Ahead of Demand-Heavy Holidays

Oil prices extended gains into a fourth straight session on Thursday after inventory data showed that U.S. supplies remained tight ahead of a demand-heavy holiday season, although caution ahead of key economic readings kept gains limited. Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. crude inventories shrank far more than expected in the previous week, with decreases in heating oil and jet fuel stocks coming just ahead of an expected increase in travel demand and a potential cold snap at the end of the year. The inventory declines came even as the government drew down over 3 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, indicating that demand remained robust. A weaker dollar also benefited crude prices, with the greenback coming under pressure from a spike in the yen this week. But t...
Asia FX Weakens as Dollar Steadies from BOJ Shock, Yen Slips
Asia

Asia FX Weakens as Dollar Steadies from BOJ Shock, Yen Slips

Most Asian currencies fell on Wednesday as the dollar steadied from a sharp tumble against the yen, while the Japanese currency retreated slightly from a four-month high as markets digested a surprise policy shift by the Bank of Japan. The yen fell 0.3% to 132.06 against the dollar, after rallying over 3% in the prior session. The BOJ held interest rates at record lows on Tuesday, but unexpectedly widened the range within which it allows yields on the benchmark government bonds to fluctuate, which markets took as a signal that the bank eventually intends to tighten policy amid rising inflation. This greatly supported the yen, which was battered by a widening gap between local and U.S. interest rates this year. 10-year Japanese Government Bond yields also shot up to nearly 0.45%, which is c...
Japanese Yen Rallies to 4-month High on BoJ Policy Tweak, Asia FX Slips
Asia

Japanese Yen Rallies to 4-month High on BoJ Policy Tweak, Asia FX Slips

Most Asian currencies fell slightly on Tuesday as fears of a potential recession persisted, while the Japanese yen rallied past its peers after the Bank of Japan tweaked its ultra-dovish policy, drumming up hopes for an eventual pivot. The yen jumped 2.7% to 133.14 - its strongest level against the dollar in four months. The currency surged after the BoJ widened the range within which it allows yields on its benchmark government bonds to fluctuate. The move lends some credence to recent speculation that the central bank will tighten its ultra-dovish policy in the face of rising inflation in the country. But it maintained its benchmark rates at near-zero, while also holding its inflation target at 2% - nearly half of the actual inflation rate in the country. Still, the yen benefited from sp...