Thursday, People's Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said appropriate measures taken by the Chinese government have helped to curb rapid decline in economic growth, and the country is expected to serve as a stabilizing force in global economy. Elsewhere, Taiwan's central bank unexpectedly kept its interest rates on hold.

In an article published on the central bank's Web site, Zhou said, China is expected to maintain stable economic growth by boosting domestic demand and reducing dependence on external demand. It would then serve as a stabilizing force in global economy.

Zhou said macroeconomic measures have produced preliminary result and some leading indicators are pointing to recovery of economic growth.

Taiwan's central bank left its key interest unchanged at an all time low of 1.25% after cutting the rate seven times since September 2008. Economists had expected the bank to further lower the rate to 1%.

From data releases, Japan's Finance Ministry reported that foreign residents sold JPY 624.1 billion more in Japan stocks than they purchased for the week ending March 21. Foreigners purchased a net JPY 511.9 billion in Japan bonds and notes.

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan said corporate service prices in Japan were down 2.6% on-year in February to 92.1. On a monthly basis, corporate service process inched higher by 0.2%.

Singapore's Economic Development Board or EDB announced that the industrial production dropped 22.4% year-over-year in February, compared with a revised 29.8% fall in the previous month. Economists were looking for a decline of 23% for February.

Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department announced that the trade deficit stood at HK$ 23.2 billion in February, in contrast to the HK$ 7.2 billion surplus in the previous month. Economists had predicted a deficit of HK$ 4.5 billion.

On an annual basis, the value of total exports declined 23% to HK$ 141.9 billion in February, after falling 21.8% in January. At the same time, imports value dropped 17.5% to HK$ 165.1 billion, compared with a 27.1% fall in the previous month.

India's inflation plunged to a new low of 0.27% for the week ended March 14 from 0.44% recorded in the previous week, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said. Economists had predicted inflation to slow to 0.13%. A year ago, the rate of inflation was 8.02% in the corresponding week.

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