Japan Oil Imports Fall To Lowest Since 1988 As Demand Drops
Japanese markets opened higher on Monday, extending a global rally on hints of additional central bank stimulus, as fresh data showed Japan’s annual trade deficit shrinking last year. Investors expect not only the European Central Bank, but also that the Bank of Japan will expand stimulus,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities, told Bloomberg News. Japan’s annual trade deficit in 2015 narrowed by 78 per cent to 2.83 trillion yen ($23.8 billion) as a weaker yen helped lift exports. Data for December alone showed a return to a trade surplus of 140 billion yen from a deficit of 666 billion yen a year earlier, with prospects of further rises due partly to cheaper oil prices.
The central bank will announce the results of its meeting on monetary policy on Friday, as waning inflation expectations, sliding oil prices and a reversal in the yen’s declines put pressure on the Bank to do more.