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Monday, February 9, 2009


Asian markets mixed as Nikkei loses early gains
Nomura dropped after its fundraising announcement, dragging down Tokyo's Nikkei as other regional markets closed mixed Monday. The Nikkei 225 Average rose more than 2% and then closed down 1.3%. Taiwan's main index climbed 0.5%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.1% and New Zealand's NZX 50 Index gave up 0.3%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slid 0.2%, India's Sensex rose 0.9% and China's Shanghai Composite gained 2%. MarketWatch (09 Feb.)

Financial firms lead drop on Asian markets
Equities on Asian markets broadly declined after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during the weekend in Malaysia that developed economies are already in "depression." For every four stocks that advanced, five declined on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. Bloomberg (09 Feb.)

Nissan to lay off 20,000, expects first loss in 9 years
Nissan Motor, Japan's third-biggest automaker, plans to slash its payroll by 20,000. The company is predicting a $2.91 billion loss for the year ending March 31. Bloomberg (09 Feb.)

Many in Japan ineligible for unemployment benefits
Many laid-off workers in Japan, a nation that had not experienced widespread unemployment until recently, will receive little or no help in the form of welfare or unemployment benefits. Part of a subclass of workers created in a period of American-inspired deregulation, the short-term employees do not have rights enjoyed by traditional workers. International Herald Tribune (08 Feb.)

Europe tightens grip on executive compensation
After being repeatedly forced to rush in and rescue its banks, Europe is getting tough with financial companies about executive salaries and bonuses. A French banking organization announced its proposal for limiting bankers' compensation, and the U.K. launched an investigation into bonuses paid out by banks that were rescued with government money. International Herald Tribune (08 Feb.)

With cash all but gone, Russia brings back bartering
To survive the economic downturn, Russian businesses revived bartering, which increased from 3% to 4% of sales in recent months. That is still a tiny percentage compared with the 75% from large companies during hard times in the mid-1990s, but economists are watching the trend closely. International Herald Tribune (08 Feb.)

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