RTTNews - Monday, a report from Japan's Cabinet Office showed that the consumer confidence indicator rose to 33.2 in April from 29.6 in the previous month. Economists had expected the index to rise to 31.

Elsewhere, the Moody's Investors Service said it unified the government of Japan's local and foreign currency bond ratings at Aa2. The rating agency raised its domestic currency bond rating from Aa3 and lowered its foreign currency bond rating from Aaa. The outlook for the government's ratings was stable.

Moody's assessed that the payment priorities of various governments proved very hard to predict. As a result, Moody's unified its ratings on various obligations at the level of its overall credit profile, which was Aa2.

On the same day, Japan's Department Stores Association said department store sales dropped 11.3% over the previous year in April.

Singapore's Non-Oil Domestic Exports or NODX fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.3% month-on-month in April, reversing a 10% rise in March, the International Enterprise Singapore said.

Year-on-year, NODX declined 19% in April, following the 17% decrease in the previous month, due to lower electronic and non-electronic NODX.

Elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund's first deputy managing director, John Lipsky said the prospects for a broad recovery in Asia will depend on the speed of the global economic turnaround.

India's foreign direct investment or FDI in February fell to $1.4 billion from $5.67 billion for the same month in the preceding year, due to impact of the global credit crunch, reports said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the Philippines' consumer loans of universal/commercial banks and thrift banks reached PHP 380 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 2.5% from third quarter's PHP 370.7 billion.

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