Japan recorded a trade deficit for the month of January Wednesday, as exports declined amid worries about the spread of a new virus that could deaden regional economic growth.
The trade deficit for last month totaled 1.3 trillion yen ($12 billion), the Japanese Finance Ministry said in a report.
That marked the third straight month of a trade deficit for the world's third largest economy.
In October, the nation managed to eke out a trade surplus, largely because falling crude oil prices offset a drop in exports.
Both Japan's exports and imports to China fell in January, according to the ministry data. Exports and imports to the U.S. also fell for the month.
The outbreak of CODIV-19 that began late last year, halting factory production and crimping travel, has been worsening the worries about China's economy, a key driver of regional growth.
Such worries added to those set off earlier by the trade policies of President Donald Trump.
RFL, a leading conglomerate of the country’s has recently launched an awareness campaign - ‘Bangla in 68 years’ marking the International Mother Language Day (February 21).
The campaign will continue until February 25.
The aim of the campaign is to create awareness among the people about unnecessary use of mixed language with incorrect pronunciations and expressions while speaking Bangla and encourage them to speak Bangla completely and properly.
RN Paul, Managing Director of RFL Group, came up with the announcement of the campaign in a press conference at Premier Plaza in Badda area on Tuesday.
RN Paul said “We have taken the initiative to encourage the people especially young generation to speak in Bangla language completely.”
“We know that language movement sowed the seeds for the independence of Bangladesh and everybody should come forward to maintain standard of our mother tongue.”, he added.
Under the campaign, RFL will run various awareness messages through social media and its various retail outlets including Best Buy and distribute leaflet among the people.
Zeaul Haque, Assistant General Manager (Public Relations) of PRAN-RFL Group, Esfaquel Hoque, Senior Brand Manager of Durable Plastic were also present there among others.
Islami Bank Central Hospital has inaugurated Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) service.
Yousif Abdullah Al-Rajhi, vice chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and Islami Bank Foundation inaugurated the service on Monday as chief guest at Islami Bank Central Hospital in the capital’s Kakrail area.
A total of 10 newborns can be provided medical care at the NICU with modern technologies imported from the USA, Germany, New Zealand and Japan.
Walton, a local electronics and ICT product manufacturer, is going to export ‘Made-in-Bangladesh’ smartphones to the United States (US) for the first time.
Walton will supply its smartphones to a renowned American brand as the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), said a press release.
The export is likely to be inaugurated officially by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, along with Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak on March 1 at Walton Digi-Tech Industries Limited (WDIL) in Chandra of Gazipur.
WDIL Managing Director SM Monjurul Alam said, “Within a short time, good quality and advanced features of the locally finished smartphones have drawn the buyers’ attention and faith.”
“Now, Walton-made international standard smartphones are going to be exported to the US while Europe, Australia and other developed nations would be our next export destination soon,” he added.
Last year, Walton inked an agreement with US-based one of the leading E-commerce platforms ‘Amazon’ to market ‘Made-in-Bangladesh’ labelled electronics and ICT devices in the US market.
Shortly, Walton brand laptop, computer, mobile phone, compact mini refrigerator, home and electrical appliances will be available for sale on Amazon website.
Shares slipped in Asia on Tuesday as the impact from the virus outbreak that began in China deepened, with Apple saying it would fail to meet its profit target and China moving to postpone or cancel major events including the Beijing auto show.
Signs suggest China may postpone its annual congress, its biggest political meeting of the year. The standing committee for the National People's Congress will meet Feb. 24 to deliberate postponing the meeting that is due to start March 5.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 1.5% to 23,170.62 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 1.4% to 27,581.19. In South Korea, the Kospi shed 1.4% to 2,209.95, while the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.4% until 2,972.02. Australia's S&P ASX/200 fell 0.3% to 7,106.00. Shares also fell in Taiwan, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur but rose in Jakarta.
Shanghai's benchmark jumped more than 2% on Monday after the central bank rolled out more measures to help support the economy. Most other markets also rose.
China's biannual auto show, one of the industry's biggest international events, has been postponed, and many sports and entertainment events have been delayed or canceled to avoid travel that may spread the virus. The death toll from the outbreak rose to 1,868, and the total of confirmed cases to 72,436.
China reported 1,886 new virus cases and 98 more deaths in its update Tuesday. A report saying the disease outbreak has caused a mild illness in most people raised optimism among global health authorities.
But as the outbreak persists, bringing new travel advisories and disrupting trade, travel and supply chains, it is casting a vast shadow over the regional economy.
"Best to buckle in as we could be in for a bumpy ride the next few weeks as I'm struggling to find any research report that doesn't suggest: "Covid-19 could significantly affect short term earnings: Reiterate Sell," Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a report.
U.S. markets were closed Monday for President's Day. Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% in electronic trading on Tuesday.
Overnight, Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.3% to close at 7,433.25, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.3% to 6085.95. Germany's DAX added 0.3% as well to end the day at 13,783.89. Wall Street remained closed for Presidents' Day.
Apple Inc. joined the growing number of companies who are forecasting a hit to their bottom lines from the outbreak, which has prompted Chinese authorities to put cities that are home to more than 60 million people to go into lockdown.
Apple warned its investors on Monday that it won't meet its second-quarter financial guidance because the outbreak has cut production of iPhones. The Cupertino, California-based company said all of its iPhone manufacturing facilities are outside Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and all have been reopened. But production is ramping up slowly.
"The health and well-being of every person who helps make these products possible is our paramount priority, and we are working in close consultation with our suppliers and public health experts as this ramp continues," Apple said in a statement.
In other trading, benchmark U.S. crude oil lost 37 cents to $51.68 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It gained 63 cents overnight to $52.05 per barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost 62 cents to $57.05 per barrel. It gained 35 cents on Monday to $57.67.
In currency markets, the dollar fell to 109.75 Japanese yen from 109.89 yen on Monday. The euro edged down to $1.0833 from $1.0836.