Asian stocks fell, led by materials shares, as escalating violence in the Middle East sapped demand for riskier assets.
Japanese businesses left behind this year as global equities rallied to a record found a winning strategy in buying back shares the rest of the world preferred to avoid.
Japan’s exports fell in May for the first time in 15 months on weak demand from the U.S. and Asia, adding to challenges for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he tries to steer the economy through a forecast contraction this quarter.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s success in spurring inflation risks triggering a Japanese government debt selloff as the second-biggest JGB holder may begin switching to higher-yielding assets.
Japan’s industrial production and household spending fell more than forecast and inflation surged to a 23-year high on a tax rise that is pinching consumers who have seen limited wage gains.
The world’s lowest-yielding bonds and a weakening currency are encouraging Japanese insurers to look abroad, adding to the exodus of funds from the nation.
Manabu Tsukagoshi, a Tokyo-based consultant, took a month of paternity leave after his second child was born. That prompted his stay-at-home wife to get a full-time job in the financial industry.