• Japan’s April unemployment rate dropped 0.1 percent compared to the previous month and fell 0.2 percent compared to April 2004.

  • For the first time, China will allow certain foreign institutional investors to participate in its futures market. “China’s futures market is short of big institutional players,” said China’s Securities Regulatory Commission (SRC) director of futures supervision Yang Maijun. “Development of the market hasn’t caught up with investors’ demand.” China is also considering introducing market makers in trading between the renminbi and the U.S. dollar. The move is considered one of the first steps in China moving toward a more flexible renminbi.

  • Between March and May, Hong Kong’s preliminary jobless rate decreased 0.2 percent from the December February period and fell 1.3 percent compared to the same period last year.

  • Australia’s Q1 economy rose 0.7 percent compared to Q4 and 1.9 percent in year-to-year comparisons, boosted by growing inventories and increases in household final consumption expenditure. The country’s jobless rate for May stabilized at 5.10 percent, which was 0.4 percent lower than in May 2004.