AFP Asia-Pacific Economics News Summary for Friday
Beijing: China’s exports and imports slowed for the second consecutive month in July, official data showed, highlighting worsening conditions in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Tokyo: A bill to double Japan’s sales tax and partially plug its gaping debt hole cleared its final parliamentary hurdle in a triumph for the prime minister that could ultimately also cost him his job.
Hong Kong: Asian markets mostly fell as weak Chinese trade data reinforced concerns of a slowdown in the world’s number two economy, while profit-taking after a week-long rally added to selling pressure.
Sydney: Australia’s central bank upped its annual growth forecast after a strong first half, but it warned that resources investment — a key driver of the economy — would peak by 2014.
Singapore: Singapore’s economy shrank 0.7 percent in the second quarter, the government said, although the decline was at a slower pace than expected.
Seoul: North Korea’s new leadership is apparently pushing for reforms in a bid to revive its crumbling state-directed economy, analysts and a South Korean official said.
Hong Kong: Shares in Hong Kong-based sourcing giant Li & Fung plunged almost 20 percent after the Wal-Mart supplier reported an unexpected drop in core operating profit, analysts said.
Seoul: The South Korean unit of French auto giant Renault said it would offer some employees voluntary retirement as sluggish sales continued to squeeze its margins.