1. Nikkei Index Falls for Eighth Straight Trading Day
NHK reported on Oct 6, Due to concerns about corporate earnings caused by rising oil prices, the Nikkei Stock Average fell more than 293 points compared to Oct 5, the first time in nearly 12 years since 2009 that the index has fallen for eight consecutive trading days. The index is also down more than 8% from the year’s highest level reached on the 14th of last month. The daily trading volume was 1,673.82 million shares. There is also continued concern that the U.S. government may default on its debt, resulting in solid risk aversion actions.
2.Japanese Government to Sell an Additional 1 Billion Shares of Japan Post
NHK reported on Oct 6, The Japanese government will sell an additional 1 billion shares of Japan Post to raise funds for reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake. This will reduce the government’s stake in Japan Post to nearly one-third of the minimum required by the postal privatization law, and is expected to be the last sale of shares. The government currently holds about 60 percent of Japan Post’s outstanding shares, but will sell about 27 percent, or about 1 billion shares, this time. The price of the sale has not yet been decided, but the proceeds are expected to be about 950 billion yen, and the sale is expected to be completed by early next month. The sale is expected to yield 4 trillion yen for the reconstruction plan after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
3.Japan Develops Ammonia-Fueled Power Generation Equipment
NHK reported on Oct 6, The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry announced that it will invest up to 70 billion yen from a national fund to develop a power generation facility that uses only ammonia as fuel by the fiscal year 2030. Although ammonia does not produce carbon dioxide when burned, it does emit harmful nitrogen oxides, which is a problem. Therefore, the Japanese government will export the technology to other Asian countries that rely heavily on coal-fired power generation to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic, Trade, and Industry is working with power companies and trading companies to develop rules for international trade in ammonia as a fuel for power generation and strengthen cooperation with natural gas-producing countries to establish a supply network.
4. The Average Retail Price of Gasoline Was 160 Yen per Liter
NHK reported on Oct 6 that regular gasoline’s retail price averaged 160 yen per liter this week, the fifth consecutive week of price increases, up 1.3 yen from last week and the highest level in nearly three years since October 2018. This is mainly due to the continued rise in crude oil futures prices after the hurricanes hit the southern coast of the United States at the end of August this year. As for the future outlook, the Oil Information Center said, “Non-member oil producers such as OPEC and Russia have decided to keep production unchanged for the next month, and Europe has increased fuel stocks in preparation for winter. “
5. Japan’s Largest Labor Body Rengo Gets 1st Female Chief
Kyodo News reported on Oct 6, Tomoko Yoshino became the first-ever female chief of Japan’s largest labor organization Rengo. Yoshino, 55, from a union that represents mainly small and medium-sized manufacturers in Japan, is serving a two-year term, replacing Rikuo Ozu, who led the Japan Federation of Trade Unions. This is the first time since Rengo was founded in 1989 that a woman has taken the helm of the organization, with about 7 million members. Yoshino said, ” I will carry out our activities by listening carefully to the voices of our members so that we can create an environment where people can continue to work without fear even when the CCP virus is spreading.”
6. Aeon’s Interim Results: Top Sales and Profits
NHK reported on Oct 6, Aeon, one of the world’s largest retailers, said sales of more than 4.3 trillion yen for the six months to August, the highest for the period and higher than before the CCP virus spread. In addition, eon announced its group financial results from March to August this year, with an operating income of 4,344.9 billion yen, up 1.7% from the same period last year and a record high for the period. The final profit was 4.5 billion yen, a turnaround from the previous year’s loss of over 50 billion yen.
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