Japan’s consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since August 2011, and the government cut its economic assessment for the first time in 17 months, as a sales- tax increase on April 1 sapped the public’s spending power.
The world’s largest retirement fund should seek to sell 25 trillion yen ($245 billion) of Japanese bonds as soon as possible, said the head of a panel that advised the government on overhauling pension investments.
The dollar rose the most in two weeks against the yen as risk appetite swelled amid a higher- than-forecast gain in U.S. industrial production and as companies’ earnings topped estimates, damping demand for safety.
Japan’s government will cut its economic assessment for the first time in almost a year and a half, reflecting concern about the blow to consumption from this month’s sales-tax increase, the Nikkei newspaper reports.
Confidence in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus policies is faltering after foreign investors sold $24.2 billion of Japanese shares this year, leaving them the cheapest relative to bonds in 18 months.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. helped regional Japanese banks sell the most dollar-denominated convertible debt since at least 1999, as the lenders took advantage of a stock-market rally to fund overseas expansion.