- (FT) AIR, the first of a handful of specialist catastrophe modelling agencies to release its Japan estimate, predicting losses of anything from $15bn to as much as $35bn.
- In coming quarters the quake is likely to mean more demand for copper. Japan accounts for around 5% of global copper demand.
- Inventories at U.S. businesses rose 0.9% in January.
- The Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 68.2 in March from 77.5 in February.
- China's CPI rose 4.9% YoY in February 2011
- A state of emergency was declared for all 77 Oklahoma counties as warm, dry winds fanned on the flames. Temperatures soared into the upper 70s on Friday in parts of Oklahoma, which is around 15 to 20 degrees above normal.
- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has resigned after he correctly called the Pentagon’s handling of Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is detained at the brig at Quantico,“ridiculous,counterproductive and stupid.”
- (Xinhuanet) -- A Chinese government adviser has recommended that the country use some of its 2.85 trillion US dollars of foreign exchange reserves, to buy more gold.
Li Yining, a senior economist at Peking University and a CPPCC member, says China should use the precious metal to hedge against risks of foreign currency devaluation.
Despite many academics making similar calls, an official with the country's foreign exchange administration recently said it wasn't possible for China to make big purchases in the spot gold market. He said that was because the government is afraid of squeezing out ordinary buyers, and pushing up the gold market prices.
- DJ reports up to 20% of Japan's grain may be destroyed
- When asked if the nuclear power accident in Japan could prove to be a turning point for the industry, Immelt (sorry but I’ve got the attention span of a flea) said: "There is now almost a 50-year track record of nuclear power that people can look back on and make their own judgments about."