The Group of 20 meeting this week is expected to focus on the potential for a global currency war, generated in part by Japan's recent moves. Teeing up for the gathering in Moscow, European finance ministers meeting earlier will discuss the high value of the euro and the damage this may be doing to European exports.
For the second year running, Japan's current-account surplus shrank, narrowing 50.8% in 2012 to the smallest margin since comparable data began to be compiled in 1985, the Finance Ministry reported. Japan also posted a record trade deficit of ¥5.81 trillion, up sharply from ¥1.62 trillion yen in 2011.
U.S. investment is China is the subject of increasing worry that the shadowy financial and other practices associated with China's domestic economy are filtering into the business of multinationals. Fears are amplified by the fact that U.S. auditors are barred from the mainland.
South Korea stands behind only the U.S. and Japan by the measure of quantitative openness, or net overseas investment divided by GDP, in the foreign-exchange market, according to data from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Korea's 149.2% compared with 295.6% for the U.S. and 195.5% for Japan.