MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up about 0.1 percent on the day, but up more than 1 percent for the month. Japan's Nikkei stock average added about 0.8 percent, clawing back some of the 1.1 percent lost the previous session, its biggest one-day drop in two weeks. Mostly upbeat data released before the market open showed Japan's core consumer inflation slowed for a fifth straight month in December due to slumping oil prices, though factory output rose 1.0 percent, helped by a much-awaited rebound in exports and the jobless rate fell. According to Japanese government and central bank officials, the Bank of Japan has put monetary policy on hold and found backing for its wait-and-see stance from advisors to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who worry more easing could send the yen to damagingly low levels.
Asian stock markets were mixed in early trading Friday, with Tokyo's main index rising after Japanese data showed inflation slowed in December but industrial output rebounded. Tokyo's gains were in line with a broad overnight rally on Wall Street, after the Federal Reserve signalled that growth and job creation in the world's top economy remained robust and corporate earnings were generally solid. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange rose 0.63 percent in morning trade, but the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.59 percent and Hong Kong turned flat after rising at the open. Japanese government data released Friday showed that core consumer inflation in the world's third largest economy slowed for a fifth month in December to 2.5 percent year-on-year, down from 2.7 percent in November, on the back of plunging oil prices and weaker consumer spending.
By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After years of giving investors the cold shoulder, Amazon.com Inc is starting to warm up to Wall Street. The No. 1 U.S. online retailer was unusually forthcoming during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday, saying it will break out results this year, for the first time, for its fast-growing cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services. "The team ... is putting even more energy around making sure we get great productivity around our various fixed and variable investments," Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak told reporters on a conference call. This was a shift in tone for Amazon, which typically refuses to disclose more than the most basic details, including how many members belong to its $99-a-year Prime program or if its wide-ranging investments are paying off.
Google profit jumped in the recently ended quarter, but the leap fell short of market expectations as smartphone-centric lifestyles brought with them a shift to cheaper mobile ads. Google shares whipsawed, losing ground and then gaining, as Wall Street came to grips with concerns about a shift to lower-cost ads on mobile devices and the technology titan's penchant for spending on "moonshots" like self-driving cars and Internet-linked Glass eyewear. "At Google you have strong-willed leaders who tell shareholders they are interested in the long haul and want to invest in interesting long-term projects," said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett. Google has prospered on targeting ads served up with Internet search results on computers.
Quote of the Day
Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently. - William A. Ward