Japan's recession deepens
Japan's exports and business sentiment tumbled, offering more evidence of a deepening recession, while Ireland became the latest nation to pump cash into banks crippled by the worst financial crisis in eight decades, Reuters reported.
Japan, where interest rates were cut to a rock-bottom 0.1 percent last week and $54 billion (36.24 billion pounds) in extra government spending was announced over the weekend, reported the worst ever drop in exports in November.
Adding to the gloom, a Reuters Tankan monthly survey, coming hot on the heels of the central bank's dismal quarterly poll, showed business sentiment at its lowest since the survey began more than 10 years ago.
"Sales have been falling at a speed we've never seen before," an official at an electric machinery firm said in the survey.
And in yet another sign that no nation or industry was left unscathed by the crisis that has spiralled from a U.S. housing market collapse, Ireland said it would pump $7.7 billion into its three major banks.
The relentless stream of bad news is set to continue later on Monday, when the world's top carmaker and Japan's industrial champion Toyota Motor Co is expected to forecast its first annual parent operating loss in 71 years.
The gloom depressed stocks in most of Asia, but shares crept up in Tokyo, encouraged by the government's move to bolster the world's second-biggest economy with extra spending and news that struggling U.S. carmakers secured $17.4 billion in emergency government loans over the weekend.