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Thursday, March 5, 2009


Asian markets advance on hopes of China's revival
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the country will grow at 8% this year, giving hope to investors, who pushed up markets throughout Asia on Thursday. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 gained 2.4%, the MSCI index for Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan inched up 0.2% by midday and Australia's market added 0.6%. Key indexes in Taiwan and Shanghai rose 1% to 2%. Stocks in Hong Kong and South Korea were flat, while Singapore gave up 0.6%. International Herald Tribune/Reuters (05 Mar.)

China's premier confident of reaching 8% growth in 2009
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in his annual "work report" to the National People's Congress that the recession will not stand in the way of the country hitting its 8% growth target this year. China will post a budget deficit this year of slightly less than 3% of GDP, he said. Financial Times (05 Mar.)

Reserve Bank of India slashes key interest rates
The Reserve Bank of India said it dropped its short-term lending rate for banks to 5%, a cut of 50 basis points, to maintain liquidity and encourage lenders to make loans. The central bank also dropped the interest rate at which it borrows from financial institutions to 3.5%. "There is evidence of a slowing in economic activity," said D. Subbarao, governor of the central bank. "We expect that the reduction in rates will further encourage banks to provide credit. The RBI will continue to maintain ample liquidity in the system." Agence France-Presse (04 Mar.)

*looks like everyone will have "Buy Our Own." Only problem: can only sustain protectionism for so long without it blowing up in your face.
East Asia examines risks of being dependent on exports
Collapsing export markets, described in East Asia as a "financial tsunami," have forced Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan to reconsider their dependence on consuming nations. As Taiwan's president said, when times were good, policymakers were praised for expanding exports, but "now that times are bad, we think we should attach more emphasis on domestic demand instead of putting all our eggs in one basket." International Herald Tribune (05 Mar.)

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