TOKYO: Shares edged up today with investors expressing relief as US President Donald Trump appeared to take a softer stance on his thorny trade dispute with Japan.
The key Nikkei 225 index rose 0.31 percent, or 65.36 points, to close at 21,182.58, while the broader Topix index was up 0.38 percent, or 5.79 points, at 1,547.00.
“Players were relieved as President Trump did not take a tough stance on the US-Japan trade issue,” Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi told AFP.
After a fun-filled weekend of golf and sumo, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held formal talks Monday, with trade and tensions with North Korea topping the agenda.
Ahead of their talks, Trump hinted that tough negotiations on their bilateral trade could wait until after July elections in Japan.
Trump tweeted: “Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play.”
In remarks after the closing bell, Trump also told reporters: “We hope to have even more to announce on the trade, very very soon.”
The dollar fetched 109.52 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 109.29 yen in New York late Friday.
In Tokyo, Nissan was up 0.97 percent at 747.8 yen after news that its French alliance partner Renault and Italian-US auto giant Fiat Chrysler are weighing a potential merger.
Its rival Toyota gained 0.79 percent to 6,554 yen while Honda was down 1.11 percent at 2,759 yen.
Takeda Pharmaceutical jumped 2.46 percent to 3,942 yen while telecom and investment firm SoftBank Group was up 1.65 percent at 10,465 yen.
Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is new DG ISI
RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army has appointed Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as new Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), ISPR said.
Gen. Hameed will be replacing Lt-Gen Asim Munir, who has now been posted as the Corps Commander Gujranwala, according to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), media wing of the army.
Gen. Hameed is from the Baloch Regiment. He was in-charge of the internal security wing at the ISI. He has commanded a division in Pano Aqil.
Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been appointed as Adjutant General of Pakistan Army at the General Headquarters (GHQ) while Lieutenant General Aamir Abbasi has been named as Quarter Master at GHQ.
Lieutenant General Moazzam Abbas has been named Engineer-In-Chief at GHQ, said ISPR.
Earlier in April, the Pakistan Army had announced a number of high-level appointments and transfers in its ranks.
Kartarpur Corridor to be completed on time: Khusro
ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar Friday said the government would timely complete the Kartapur Corridor to provide easy access to Sikh devotees besides promoting religious tourism.
He was chairing a meeting on development of Gurdwara Kartarpur Corridor here. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan, Secretary Religious Affairs, Director General FWO Maj Gen Inam Haider Malik, Members Planning Commission, Commissioner Gujranwala, representatives from NESPAK and high level officials of the ministry were present during the occasion.
The minister said the prime minister had performed ground breaking of the Corridor on November 28, 2018 and will inaugurate the Corridor in the same month this year.
He said the incumbent government took a major initiative last year by announcing opening of Kartarpur Corridor to provide access to Sikh devotees to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the request of Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Turkey hits out at Moody’s after credit rating cut
ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday lambasted Moody’s ratings agency after it cut Ankara’s credit rating further into junk territory, saying the downgrade raised concerns over the institution’s “objectivity and impartiality”.
The agency downgraded the long-term debt rating to B1 from Ba3 and said it maintained the negative outlook for Turkey, in a statement late Friday.
Although the country had a “large, diverse economy” and government debt was low, Moody’s said this was outweighed increasingly by “continued erosion in institutional strength and policy effectiveness on investor confidence”.
But the Turkish treasury and finance ministry said the move was “incompatible with the Turkish economy’s fundamental indicators”.
“As a result, this raises questions over the objectivity and impartiality of the body’s analyses,” the ministry added in a statement.
It pointed to rising tourism revenues, falling inflation, and a new judicial reform package as examples of “very positive developments that we sadly see are being ignored”.
The Turkish economy entered into recession for the first time in a decade last year following a currency crisis in the summer amid tensions with the United States.