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Asian stock markets fall as investors start to anticipate earlier Fed interest rate hike

TOKYO - Asian stocks inched down Thursday after comments from the new head of the Federal Reserve suggested U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were anticipating. Janet Yellen's comments after the Fed's first policy meeting since she replaced Ben Bernanke sent Wall Street lower and the dollar higher on Wednesday. The Nikkei 225, the benchmark for the Tokyo stock market, fell 0.5 per cent to 14,386.72 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.8 per cent to 1,922.03. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.6 per cent to 21,426.47. Australia's S

World stock markets hit by investor fears about China economy, Ukraine tensions

HONG KONG - Most global stock markets fell sharply Friday over persistent concerns about weakness in the Chinese economy and tensions in Ukraine. Japanese stocks ended the week down about 6 per cent as investors seeking safety piled into the yen ahead of a high-stakes weekend vote on the future of Ukraine's Crimean region that has strained relations between Russian and the West to the breaking point.

Asian shares edge up ahead of China data

Asian markets edged up on bargain-buying Thursday, with investors nervously awaiting Chinese economic data after a disappointing set of indicators at the weekend fuelled a broad sell-off this week. The euro hovered around a 17-month high against the dollar struck in New York, while the Australian dollar also surged against its US counterpart after Sydney reported a jump in full-time employment.

Eurozone industrial output falls in January

Eurozone industrial output continued weaker in January, official data showed on Wednesday, but the underlying trend appears consistent with a very modest economic recovery in the single-currency bloc. Industrial output in the 18-nation eurozone fell 0.2 percent in January after a sharper drop of 0.4 percent in December when it had 17 members, the Eurostat statistics agency said. However, in the full 28-country European Union, industrial output was up 0.1 percent, returning to positive territory after a drop of 0.4 percent in December, Eurostat said.

Asian shares slip on profit-taking, Wall St losses

Asian markets sank on Wednesday, taking a lead from another sell-off on Wall Street, while Tokyo took a hit as the yen climbed against the dollar with profit-takers moving in following last week's greenback rally. With few catalysts to drive business, trade was thin, which dealers said was causing choppiness, while focus turns to the Federal Reserve's next policy meeting next week. Tokyo fell 2.13 percent, Hong Kong slipped 1.46 percent, Sydney was 1.12 percent lower, and Shanghai eased 0.23 percent, while Seoul was down 1.10 percent.

Time runs short as Europe haggles over key bank reform

By Annika Breidthardt and John O'Donnell BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European countries haggled on Tuesday over a scheme to insulate taxpayers from the costs of bank failures, redoubling efforts to avoid an embarrassing delay to the euro zone's centerpiece crisis reform.

Asia stocks gain on China economic reform prospects, another Wall Street high

MUMBAI, India - Asian stocks mostly rose Friday, buoyed by a third all-time high on a key Wall Street index this week and signs that China will follow up on pledges to further open the world's No. 2 economy, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.4 per cent to 15,201.57 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.65 point to 1,976.17. Australia's S Investors have been encouraged by this week's meeting of China's top legislative body which pledged to advance Communist Party plans issued in November for promoting market forces and domestic consumption in Asia's economic engine.

Canadian dollar up amid strong housing sector data; traders look to jobs report

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher Thursday amid a strong housing sector report while traders looked ahead to key employment data coming out Friday. The loonie rose 0.38 of a cent to 90.98 cents US as Statistics Canada reported that the total value of building permits issued by municipalities rose 8.5 per cent to $7 billion in January. That was much higher than the 1.7 per cent rise that economists expected and followed a 4.8 per cent decrease in December.

Bank of Canada says world economy still full of risks, adding Ukraine to worries

OTTAWA - Bank of Canada is keeping its low-interest rate policy in place for a while longer, signalling Wednesday that it remains to be convinced the global economy is out of danger — adding Ukraine to its list of worries. "Volatility in global financial markets has increased somewhat, reflecting buoyant market conditions in most advanced economies and increased risk differentiation among emerging markets," it said. "More recently, tensions in Ukraine have added to geopolitical uncertainty."

Resource stocks limit TSX losses, traders seek safety amid Ukraine tensions

TORONTO - The Toronto stock market closed little changed Monday, one of the few global markets to avoid racking up sharp losses in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. The S Gains in oil and gold also helped support the Canadian dollar, which was faring better than some other currencies. The loonie declined 0.08 of a cent to 90.22 cents US.
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