Japan has bought 120 million euros ($152 million) of new six-month bills sold by the euro zone’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), in an auction on Tuesday, a finance ministry official said.
The amount accounts for 8 percent of a 1.5 billion euros of six month bills sold by the EFSF in the auction which drew total bids worth 4.66 billion euros.
The auction came a day after U.S. ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the EFSF by one notch to AA+ from AAA, following downgrades of the ratings of France and Austria by the same margin and rating cuts of seven other euro zone nations.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Buys $152 Million of Euro Rescue Fund T-Bills.
Japan called on Germany on Friday to step up and help plug the widening hole in Europe’s finances, saying Berlin should play a leading role in creating a debt "firewall".
Finance Minister Jun Azumi said the continent’s largest economy needed to do more if Europe was to get out of the downward spiral of debt that is threatening to tip the global economy into recession.
"It is important for Germany to (play) a central role in creating a firm funding scheme that we can refer to as a firewall," Azumi told a news conference, Dow Jones newswires reported.
Read the rest of the story: Japan calls on German ‘central role’ in euro ‘firewall’.
Japanese stock futures fell after Fitch Ratings said a worsening European debt crisis is a “serious risk” to U.S. banks, stoking concern about the global financial system. Australian stocks were little changed.
American depositary receipts of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (8306), Japan’s biggest lender by market value, dropped 2.5 percent from the closing share price in Tokyo. Those of Komatsu Ltd. (6301), the country’s largest maker of construction machinery, slid 1.5 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP), an Australian oil producer, rose 0.2 percent after oil climbed above $100 a barrel.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Stock Futures Fall After Fitch Says Europe Threatens U.S. Banks.
Finance Minister Jun Azumi says he will not rule out Japan sharing some of the burden related to a bailout scheme for Greece, provided Europe maps out a rational plan that can ease market jitters.
Speaking days after meetings of the International Monetary Fund and G20 that were dominated by discussion of Europe’s sovereign debt problems, Azumi urged each country to make efforts to implement what was agreed at a European summit on July 21.
“Each country should respond to the rescue plan by winning approval from their parliaments, and if they need a larger framework, I would consult with (US Treasury Secretary Timothy) Geithner,” Azumi told reporters after a cabinet meeting.
Read the rest of the story: Japan may share Greek debt burden.