Japan logs record trade deficit in 2012

Japan on Thursday logged a record trade deficit for 2012 as exports were hit by a bitter diplomatic spat with its biggest market China and plunging demand in debt-wracked Europe.

The gloomy numbers spell more bad news for the world's third-largest economy as it struggles to cement a recovery after the 2011 quake-tsunami -- the worst nuclear crisis in a generation -- and the impact of an export-sapping strong yen.

They also underscore the size of the task ahead for the new government of Shinzo Abe, who won last month's election on a pledge to boost the economy with big public spending and by pressuring the central bank for a more aggressive monetary policy.

Official figures from the finance ministry showed Japan's trade shortfall last year totalled 6.92 trillion yen ($78 billion), with the deficit in December alone standing at a higher-than-expected 641.5 billion yen.

The data marked a second consecutive annual trade deficit for the export-reliant economy.

Last year, exports totalled 63.7 trillion yen against imports of 70.7 trillion yen, with post-Fukushima energy imports of expensive fossil fuels surging as all but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors remain closed.

But analysts said the 2012 figures may mark a low point for Japan's trade picture as the global economy stages a recovery with China and other Asian economies leading the pack, while the US economy also improves.

"The figures will likely be better in 2013 as overseas economies improve," said Masahiko Hashimoto, an economist at Daiwa Institute of Research in Tokyo, adding that the impact of a territorial feud with China would probably fade.

"The European economy may continue to worsen until the middle of the year but China and other Asian economies are likely to lead the global economy."

However, he said the deficit would likely remain for the short term as a weakening yen makes overseas energy imports pricier, Hashimoto said.

"But I believe exports will eventually pick up. (The weaker yen) will be a positive for the economy in the long term," he added.

While Japan ran a 2012 trade surplus with the United States, it recorded an annual deficit of 139.7 billion yen with the European Union, its first as the continent's sovereign debt crisis crippled demand for everything from Japanese televisions to cars.

The deficit with Beijing doubled to a record 3.52 trillion yen, as a feud over a set of islands in the East China Sea spurred a consumer boycott of Japanese goods in China.

The dispute flared in September after Tokyo nationalised the Senkakus, which Beijing refers to as the Diaoyu islands.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Japan, following government pressure, adopted a two percent inflation target to beat the deflation that has haunted the economy for years and also set out plans for indefinite monetary easing.

Markets have cheered Abe's strong stand. The Nikkei 225 stock index has soared in the past couple of months, while speculation of monetary easing has sent the yen falling.

That is good news for Japan's exporters, who have complained about the unit's soaring value since it hit a record around the 75-level against the dollar in late 2011. A high yen makes Japanese products less competitive overseas.

The dollar bought 89.32 yen in Tokyo forex trade Thursday.

Japan's economy contracted in the July-September quarter and slipped slightly in the previous three months, meeting the technical definition of a recession.

--

Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.
Loading...
  • EU likely to hand Apple Irish tax bill of over 1 billion euro - source
    EU likely to hand Apple Irish tax bill of over 1 billion euro - source Reuters - 2 minutes 6 seconds ago

    The European Commission will rule against Ireland's tax dealings with Apple on Tuesday, two source familiar with the decision told Reuters, one of whom said Dublin would be told to recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes. The Commission declined … More »

  • EU likely to hand Apple Irish tax bill of over 1 bln euro: source
    EU likely to hand Apple Irish tax bill of over 1 bln euro: source Reuters - 6 minutes ago

    The European Commission will rule against Ireland's tax dealings with Apple (AAPL.O) on Tuesday, two source familiar with the decision told Reuters, one of whom said Dublin would be told to recoup over 1 billion euros in back taxes. The Commission … More »

  • Yale grad students file petition seeking union certification Associated Press - 16 minutes ago

    Yale University graduate students on Monday petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for union recognition, saying they have organized to address concerns surrounding pay and benefits and give themselves ... … More »

  • South African Treasury, Eskom row over coal contracts as government rifts deepen Reuters - 28 minutes ago

    South Africa's Treasury and state-owned Eskom clashed on Monday over a probe into coal contracts between the power utility and a company linked to the wealthy Gupta family that is accused of holding undue political sway over President Jacob Zuma. … More »

  • European privacy regulators to scrutinise WhatsApp privacy switch Reuters - 33 minutes ago

    Facebook's move to relax the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the world's most popular mobile messaging application, will be closely scrutinised, the chair of Europe's leading group of privacy regulators said on Monday.     WhatsApp, which counts more … More »

  • US alarm as Turkey warns Syrian Kurd militia of more strikes
    US alarm as Turkey warns Syrian Kurd militia of more strikes AFP News - 38 minutes ago

    Turkey warned Monday it would carry out more strikes on a Syrian Kurdish militia if it failed to retreat beyond the Euphrates River, as Washington voiced alarm over weekend clashes. Turkish forces pressed on with a two-pronged operation inside … More »

  • Berlin to require mums to come clean on 'milkmen's kids'
    Berlin to require mums to come clean on 'milkmen's kids' AFP News - 55 minutes ago

    Germany has drafted a law requiring mothers to inform their partners if their children were fathered by another man, Justice Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday. It would apply to cases in which men who believe they are not the real fathers seek … More »

  • RUBBER-Tokyo futures prices after evening session Aug 29 Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago

    Following are prices for Tokyo rubber futures at the end of the Tokyo market's evening session on Aug 2016. Contract Day Volume Evening Volume * Sep 156.0 25 - - * Oct 156.0 86 156.0 1 * Nov 153.8 75 153.6 ... … More »

  • Four Nomura Investment Bankers Said to Leave as Firm Shrinks Bloomberg - 1 hour 34 minutes ago

    Jason Fertig, who led Nomura’s health-care investment-banking group in the Americas, and Matthew Upton, a banker in the firm’s global-technology team, are joining Mizuho Financial Group Inc., the people said, asking not to be identified discussing … More »

  • S&P 500 Approaches High on Consumer-Spending Data; Dollar Gains Bloomberg - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    Japanese shares led gains among the biggest equity markets after central bank chief Haruhiko Kuroda reiterated a pledge to boost stimulus if needed. The monthly U.S. payrolls report due Friday will provide more clues on whether policy makers will … More »

  • Markets Right Now: Banks lead US stocks higher on rate hopes Associated Press - 1 hour 58 minutes ago

    The latest on developments in global financial markets (all times local): 11:45 a.m. Banks are leading stocks higher at midday as investors hope for higher interest rates. Wells Fargo, the nation's largest ... … More »

  • JPMorgan Index Move Puts $370 Billion Islamic Debt on Fund Radar Bloomberg - 2 hours 3 minutes ago

    Shariah-compliant notes will be eligible for inclusion in five JPMorgan gauges from Oct. 31 and will account for between 0.35 percent to 0.99 percent of total assets on the benchmarks, according to an Aug. 18 statement by the bank. Sukuk will be … More »

  • Yuan Bears Emerge From Hibernation as Fed Threatens G-20 Calm Bloomberg - 2 hours 4 minutes ago

    Derivative markets are pointing to renewed bets on yuan depreciation, with a three-month measure of expected price swings poised for the biggest monthly increase since January. The increased pessimism comes after a period of calm that sent the … More »

  • Statoil expects 'loads of' M&A deals coming up, strategy chief says
    Statoil expects 'loads of' M&A deals coming up, strategy chief says Reuters - 2 hours 12 minutes ago

    ** Says: "If you look at the acquisition and divestment markets for upstream oil and gas on a global basis over the last five years, they have been falling to all-time lows... but there are a number of active spots, one of those is in certain parts … More »

  • Gold hits near 5-week low after Fed strikes hawkish note
    Gold hits near 5-week low after Fed strikes hawkish note Reuters - 2 hours 29 minutes ago

    Gold slid to a near five-week low on Monday after comments from top Federal Reserve officials fuelled speculation that U.S. interest rates would rise sooner rather than later, boosting the dollar. Speaking at a meeting of leading central bankers in … More »

  • Liz Weston: 5 money myths you probably believe
    Liz Weston: 5 money myths you probably believe Associated Press - 2 hours 54 minutes ago

    Managing money can be complicated, and myths are often born from people's struggles to make it simpler. But simplistic solutions can cost you instead of saving you money. If you believe any of these five ... … More »

  • BOJ Needs Massive Move to Shock & Awe, $2 Trillion Investor Says Bloomberg - 3 hours ago

    “It is how much they do, and whether they can create that kind of shock and awe at this point in the cycle,” said Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS Wealth Management, in a Bloomberg Television interview, on Monday. “They could … More »

  • Grain lower, livestock mixed Associated Press - 3 hours ago

    Grain futures were lower Monday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Sept. delivery was 10.50 cents lower at $3.7260 a bushel; Sept. corn was 2.25 cents lower at $3.14 bushel; Sept. ... … More »

  • Singapore's GIC buys stake in Vietnam's bank AFP News - 3 hours ago

    Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC will buy a 7.7 percent stake in Vietnam's biggest bank, both companies said in a joint statement on Monday. GIC signed a memorandum of agreement to buy 305.8 million new shares of Vietcombank, the fund's first … More »

  • Copper Drops to Lowest in Two Months on Ample Supply, China Woes Bloomberg - 3 hours ago

    Inventories tracked by exchanges in Shanghai, London and New York climbed five straight days last week to the highest since May. Barclays said in a report that a recent slump in the copper market “may be an early warning sign of weakening in China’s … More »

  • Wall St rises as hawkish Fed boosts financial stocks
    Wall St rises as hawkish Fed boosts financial stocks Reuters - 3 hours ago

    Yellen, addressing a gathering of global central bankers on Friday, said the central bank was close to meeting its goals of maximum employment and stable prices, while describing consumer spending as "solid". Yellen gave little indication of when … More »

  • Foreign experts in Egypt to probe Russian airliner crash AFP - 3 hours ago

    Russian and German experts arrived in Cairo Monday to inspect the wreckage of a Metrojet plane downed over Sinai, hoping to pinpoint how it came apart, the aviation ministry said. The Islamic State group ... … More »

  • Jualo receives additional ‘multi-million US Dollar’ in their Series A round
    Jualo receives additional ‘multi-million US Dollar’ in their Series A round e27 - 3 hours ago

    In June, the e-classifieds platform announced a Series A round led by NSI Ventures Last June, e-classifieds platform Jualo announced that it has received a “multi-million US Dollar” Series A funding led by NSI Ventures. Today, the Jakarta-based … More »

  • US stocks higher amid focus on possible Fed rate rise AFP - 3 hours ago

    Wall Street stocks were slightly higher Monday as traders focused on the US July jobs report coming later this week which could, if strong, support an early rate rise by the Federal Reserve. Fed Chair ... … More »

  • Trudeau Heads to China to Woo Trade Amid Weak Canada Growth (2) Bloomberg - 3 hours ago

    Trudeau departs Monday on a 10-day trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hangzhou, where he’ll attend the Group of 20 summit. He’ll meet with Premier Li Keqiang, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, … More »

 
Recent Quotes
Symbol Price Change % Chg 
Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
 
Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.

MARKET MOVERS

  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.124-0.005-3.88%
    N21.SI
    0.735-0.020-2.65%
    G13.SI
    0.128+0.014+12.28%
    RE4.SI
    0.3550.0000.00%
    E5H.SI
    4.12-0.10-2.37%
    Z74.SI
  • % Gainers
    % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.355+0.115+47.92%
    BAZ.SI
    0.151+0.024+18.90%
    D79.SI
    0.23+0.03+15.00%
    AWI.SI
    0.475+0.060+14.46%
    588.SI
    0.128+0.014+12.28%
    RE4.SI
  • % Losers
    % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.205-0.105-33.87%
    BCZ.SI
    0.25-0.10-28.57%
    BKX.SI
    0.13-0.05-27.78%
    AYL.SI
    0.165-0.055-25.00%
    BKZ.SI
    0.745-0.130-14.86%
    564.SI

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1.3590+0.0007+0.05%
    USDSGD=X
    1.5205+0.0009+0.06%
    EURSGD=X
    1.7815+0.0006+0.03%
    GBPSGD=X
    75.0250+0.343+0.46%
    SGDJPY=X
    5.7051+0.0004+0.01%
    SGDHKD=X
    2.9775+0.0112+0.38%
    SGDMYR=X
    9,759.9424+11.7539+0.12%
    SGDIDR=X
    4.9130+0.0068+0.14%
    SGDCNY=X
    1.0296+0.0033+0.32%
    AUDSGD=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    1,327.70+1.80+0.14%
    GCZ16.CMX
    18.82+0.16+0.88%
    SIU16.CMX
    97.65+1.86+1.94%
    ^XAU
    2.080.000.00%
    HGU16.CMX
    47.15-0.49-1.03%
    CLV16.NYM
  • Bonds
    Bonds
    TreasuryYield (%)Yield Change
    1.18-0.06
    ^FVX
    1.57-0.07
    ^TNX
    2.22-0.07
    ^TYX