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.
Asian stocks rose this week, with the regional benchmark rebounding from two weekly losses to post its biggest advance in almost a year, as finance shares led gains. Tencent Holdings Ltd. dropped amid concern valuations for Internet stocks are too high.
Agricultural Bank of China Ltd., the first of the nation’s largest lenders to report 2013 earnings, posted a slowdown in profit growth as government lending curbs offset improving margins and asset quality.
Japanese labor unions said they clinched their biggest raises in years as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls for companies to boost wages to help put the world’s third-largest economy on a path to sustainable growth.
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pool of retirement savings, cut domestic bond holdings to the least since the fund’s inception in 2006 and said it will invest in infrastructure.