Gold demand in Japan jumped threefold in 2013 as prices slumped and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation and weaken the yen, the World Gold Council said.
Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp., which has stakes in smelters from Brazil to Australia, forecast aluminum will swing into a deficit next year for the first time since 2006 as lower prices accelerate output cuts.
Strong demand for autos in southeast Asia and a weaker-than-forecast yen helped boost third-quarter profit at Japan’s biggest trading houses as the companies led by Mitsubishi Corp. seek to weather falling commodity prices.
Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., Japan’s biggest zinc producer, raised annual charges to overseas buyers by as much as 70 percent as consumption increases in China. Futures in London snapped a 10-day losing streak.
Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power station, returned to profit in the first nine months of its fiscal year after raising customers’ electricity rates and cutting costs.
Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese pitcher who went 24-0 last year, is headed for a major payday in the U.S. Hiroshi Mikitani, the Internet billionaire whose company has rights to Tanaka, won’t fare nearly as well.
Gold sales by Japan’s biggest bullion retailer surged 63 percent to a five-year high as prices slumped and investors sought refuge from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to stoke inflation and weaken the yen.