(For more stories on Japan’s economy click [ID:nECONJP]) TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Japan’s corporate services price index (CSPI) fell 1.5 percent in December from a year earlier, the Bank of Japan said on Tuesday, but the pace of the fall narrowed for the fourth straight month. The index, which tracks prices of business-to-business services, was unchanged from the previous month. Following is a breakdown (changes in percent, previous figures may be revised): OVERALL CSPI DEC NOV OCT SEPT DEC INDEX Year-on-year -1.5 -2.2 -2.3 -3.2 97.8 Month-on-month 0.0 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 97.8 ————————————————————— To view the full tables, go to the BOJ’s website at: http://www.boj.or.jp/en/type/stat/boj_stat/cspi/cspi0912.pdf (Reporting by Isabel Reynolds)
By Gabriel Madway SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Apple Inc reported record sales of Mac computers and strong growth overseas, but iPhone shipments were slightly below some of Wall Street’s most bullish forecasts. The company also reported a sharply better gross margin as it benefited from more favorable component costs and higher revenue.
* iPhone sales 8.7 mln versus Wall St target of 9 mln * Strong international sales and improved gross margin * Accounting changes stoke confusion among some analysts * Apple shares up 1 percent after hours (Adds more details from report) By Gabriel Madway SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote , Profile , Research ) reported record sales of Mac computers and strong growth overseas, but iPhone shipments were slightly below some of Wall Street’s most bullish forecasts. The company also reported a sharply better gross margin as it benefited from more favorable component costs and higher revenue. Apple’s stock edged higher in after-hours trading, after closing up 2.7 percent on Nasdaq before the news.
By Aiko Hayashi TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nikkei average is expected to move narrowly on Tuesday after hitting a four-week closing low a day before, with tech stocks seen higher after iPod maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote , Profile , Research ) reported sharp gains in quarterly revenue and profit. A rebound on Wall Street and stabilizing currency moves will likely help the index, but caution heading into the earnings season will probably put a lid on gains, market players said
By Bill Berkrot NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amgen Inc issued a 2010 forecast on Monday that showed potential to exceed Wall Street expectations, but the company’s slightly higher fourth-quarter profit came in shy of analyst estimates primarily due to higher expenses. The world’s largest biotechnology company, which has been struggling with falling sales of its once top-selling anemia drug Aranesp, said it expects 2010 revenue between $15.1 billion and $15.5 billion and earnings of $5.05 to $5.25 per share, excluding items. Wall Street analysts on average expect 2010 revenue of $15.31 billion and earnings of $5.13 per share, which is below the midpoint of Amgen’s forecast range
(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP]) * Rate decision announcement expected 0330-0500 GMT * Rates seen unchanged, no new initiatives expected * BOJ seen sticking to forecast for moderate recovery * BOJ open to further easing in future as growth fragile By Leika Kihara TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan may sound less pessimistic about the economy on Tuesday but it will likely keep its bias skewed towards further monetary easing to appease a government worried about a return to recession in an election year. The central bank is almost certain to keep its policy rate at 0.1 percent and hold off on new policy initiatives at a two-day rate review ending on Tuesday, having staved off government pressure with a new funding operation last month
(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP]) TOKYO, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan may say on Tuesday that there is less chance of the country slipping back into recession, but it remains ready to ease policy again in future to appease the government if the economy takes a turn for the worse. The central bank is set to keep interest rates at 0.1 percent and will hold off on new initiatives, having introduced a new funding operation last month after a period of intense government pressure for action to support the fragile economy. Following are recent key quotes by BOJ and Japanese government officials on monetary policy and the economy: FINANCE MINISTER NAOTO KAN, Jan 22, in parliament: “The government would be going too far if it were to say specifically what kind of monetary policy the BOJ should take.” He said the government and the BOJ were working well with each other in beating deflation.
(For more stories on the Japanese economy, click [ID:nECONJP]) TOKYO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Following are profiles of the Bank of Japan’s policy board members. The board currently has two vacancies. MASAAKI SHIRAKAWA, 60, governor A career central banker who took the helm of the BOJ in April 2008, Shirakawa has led the implementation of unconventional policy steps including corporate debt buying in the wake of the collapse of U.S.
(Repeats with new story number, no change to headline or text) * LeFrak offers to take over Stuyvesant management-Ross * WL Ross willing to provide financial support to LeFrak By Chelsea Emery NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Investor Wilbur Ross said on Monday his firm would provide “major financial support” to help LeFrak Organization in its offer to take over management of New York’s Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village housing complexes. “We are supporting LeFrak in its efforts to become the manager of the property succeeding Tishman Speyer,” said Ross in an interview. “We’ll do whatever we can to facilitate that, including — if and when it’s appropriate — provide major financial support for a restructuring.” LeFrak did not return a call for comment.
(Recasts to incorporate announcement of additional firm, adds details) WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The Federal Housing Administration on Monday said it disbarred four lenders from its loan guarantee program and suspended a fifth, as the Obama administration steps up its enforcement of mortgage irregularities. The FHA’s Mortgagee Review Board said it was “withdrawing” Strategic Mortgage Corporation, ProMortgage Inc, Americare Investment Group Inc, and Premium Capital Funding, LLC, from its list of qualified lenders. FHA Commissioner David Stevens said the withdrawals amount to permanent disbarment from the program