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Monday, February 16, 2009


Economic crisis a key issue for Asian trip, Clinton says
Hillary Clinton said she intends to be "listening as much as talking" while visiting Asia during her first trip as U.S. secretary of state, noting that the economic crisis "is the backdrop against which this visit takes place." Clinton said she will discuss the U.S. economic stimulus with government leaders in China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea. Bloomberg (16 Feb.)

Asian shares slip on negative economic news
Doubts about the outlook of the financial industry and dreary economic data overwhelmed investor relief that the U.S. economic stimulus was approved, putting pressure on Asian stocks Monday. Tokyo's Nikkei slid 0.2%, the MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.7%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 2% and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.8%. International Herald Tribune/Reuters (16 Feb.)

Japan's sharp GDP drop sends stocks tumbling across Asia
News that Japan's export-driven economy declined at its fastest rate in more than 30 years sent equity markets into negative territory in Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, with China's Shanghai composite index resisting the trend with a 1.3% gain. Australian mining companies, Hong Kong banks and exporters across Asia took some of the biggest hits. Forbes (15 Feb.)

Foreign direct investment in China falls 4 months straight
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said foreign direct investment in the country declined by 32.6% in January compared with the same month last year, marking the fourth consecutive monthly drop. An economist with Moody's said foreign companies still think China is a good place to do business, "but their hands are tied -- they don't have spare money to invest." Bloomberg (16 Feb.)

Corporate results to put spotlight on euro
Currency traders are keeping a close watch on the euro as the region's economic data turn more negative, with earnings announcements scheduled this week from several major corporations, including some banks. Economists pointed out that eurozone banks have considerably greater exposure to the troubled economies of Eastern Europe than financial institutions in other parts of the world. Reuters (15 Feb.)

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