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Russia sold record $11.3 bn to support ruble Monday

Russia sold a record $11.3 billion in foreign currency to support the ruble on March 3, when the ruble came under unprecedented pressure due to concerns about conflict in Ukraine, central bank data showed Wednesday. The Russian central bank sold foreign currency to buy rubles and prevent the Russian currency from falling further in value, after the market reacted with panic to parliamentary approval for President Vladimir Putin's request to allow military action in Ukraine on what has been dubbed "Black Monday".

Tokyo stocks close up 1.20% on easing Ukraine tensions

Tokyo stocks closed 1.20 percent higher Wednesday, as investors breathed a sigh of relief at signs of easing tensions in the Ukraine crisis. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index ended up 176.15 points at 14,897.63, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 0.73 percent, or 8.79 points, to 1,212.90. Tokyo's bounce followed a surge in US markets Tuesday, with the broad-based S&P 500 advancing 1.53 percent to 1,873.91, hitting its second record close in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.41 percent to finish at 16,395.88.

Tokyo stocks up 1.50% by break

Tokyo stocks were up 1.50 percent Wednesday morning, tracking a jump on Wall Street as investors reacted to signs of easing tensions in the Ukraine crisis. The benchmark Nikkei-225 index added 221.30 points to 14,942.78 by the break, while the Topix index of all first-section shares rose 1.11 percent, or 13.39 points, to 1,217.50. Tokyo's bounce follows a surge in US markets Tuesday with the broad-based S&P 500 advancing 1.53 percent to 1,873.91, hitting its second record close in three days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.41 percent to finish at 16,395.88.

S. Korea's consumer prices grow 1 pct on-year in Feb.

SEJONG, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices grew at a slower pace on-year in February, a government report showed Tuesday, thanks in part to stabilized costs of farming goods. The country's consumer price index rose 1 percent in February from a year earlier, a slight decline from the 1.1 percent gain tallied in January, according to the report by Statistics Korea. This marked the fourth straight month that growth has stayed in the 1 percent range.

S. Korea's consumer prices grow 1 pct on-year in Feb.

SEJONG, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's consumer prices grew at a slower pace on-year in February, a government report showed Tuesday, indicating that prices remained subdued thanks in part to stabilized costs of farming goods. The country's consumer price index rose 1 percent in February from a year earlier, a slight decline from the 1.1 percent gain tallied in January, according to the report by Statistics Korea. This marked the fourth straight month that the growth has stayed in the 1 percent range.

Japan factory output jumps ahead of tax hike, outlook murky

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's factory output rose in January at the fastest pace in more than two years and core inflation hovered near a five-year high, comforting signs for an economy expected take a hit from a sales tax hike scheduled for April. Labor demand continued to improve and household spending rose more than expected, providing hope that domestic demand could underwrite a recovery after lackluster growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

Japan factory output jumps ahead of tax hike, outlook murky

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's factory output rose in January at the fastest pace in more than two years and core inflation hovered near a five-year high, comforting signs for an economy expected take a hit from a sales tax hike scheduled for April. Labor demand continued to improve and household spending rose more than expected, providing hope that domestic demand could underwrite a recovery after lackluster growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

Japan factory output jumps ahead of tax hike, outlook murky

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's factory output rose in January at the fastest pace in more than two years and core inflation hovered near a five-year high, comforting signs for an economy expected to take a hit from a sales tax hike scheduled for April. Labor demand continued to improve and household spending rose more than expected, providing hope that domestic demand could underwrite a recovery after lackluster growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

Tokyo stocks flat by lunch

Tokyo stocks were flat at the end of morning trade Thursday, clawing back earlier losses as investors await congressional testimony from the head of the US central bank later in the day. The Nikkei-225 index dipped 0.06 percent or 9.04 points to 14,961.93 by the break, while the Topix index of all first section shares fell 0.24 percent, or 3.00 points, to 1,222.35. "There simply are no strong news events to drive the market in either direction," Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.

Tokyo stocks flat by lunch

Tokyo stocks were flat at the end of morning trade Thursday, clawing back earlier losses as investors await congressional testimony from the head of the US central bank later in the day. The Nikkei-225 index dipped 0.06 percent or 9.04 points to 14,961.93 by the break, while the Topix index of all first section shares fell 0.24 percent, or 3.00 points, to 1,222.35. "There simply are no strong news events to drive the market in either direction," Norihiro Fujito, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told Dow Jones Newswires.
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