Japanese shares rose in thin trading, with the Topix index headed for its biggest weekly gain this month, after the yen fell yesterday as tensions in Ukraine eased and amid optimism about U.S. earnings.
East African tea producers lobbied their governments to scrap value-added tax on domestic sales to help stimulate prices through increased consumption after higher output pushed auction rates to the lowest in 13 years.
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 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 population slid for a third year with the proportion of people over the age of 65 at a global record, underscoring the challenge the world’s most- indebted economy faces in financing its aging society.