News Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen.

The Business Matrix: Friday 19 April 2013

Cheap fares are a hit for Eurostar

Japan's trade deficit hits record levels

Japan's trade deficit hit a record high in the last financial year, the Ministry of Finance said.

China's surprise trade deficit as imports surge

The Chinese economy is still growing apace, though it recorded a surprise trade deficit for the month of March as imports surged.

Another blow for George Osborne as hopes of export-led rebound hit by poor trade figures

The Chancellor’s ambitions of rebalancing the economy were dealt another blow today by official figures showing a greater-than-expected deterioration in the UK’s trade balance in February.

Small firms give thumbs down for George Osborne's recovery plans

London’s small businesses delivered a harsh verdict on the Chancellor’s faltering efforts to kick-start the recovery today, with just one in 10 claiming the economy has improved in the last six months.

Lonrho hit by £3.4m loss

The African conglomerate Lonrho suffered an underlying loss of £3.4m after a year beset by fishing problems and late deliveries of tractors.

Recent cold weather increasing chances of two successive quarters of contraction

Contracting economy means UK stands on brink of triple-dip recession

Britain is on the brink of a triple-dip recession today after figures confirmed the economy contracted by 0.3 per cent at the end of 2012.

Jim Armitage: Bad old days of violence return to Guinea

US Outlook It's depressing to see trouble return to the mineral-rich African state of Guinea.

Cyclone Rusty heads for Australian north west

Australia's major iron ore port was shut down and residents along a remote stretch of the country's west coast ordered to take shelter as a powerful cyclone bore down on the region today, bringing drenching rains and lashing winds.

Margareta Pagano: It's time to stop playing politics with our energy

The warning from Ofgem that the UK is careering towards electricity shortages should focus politicians' minds on a solution, beyond ideology

Japan trade gap leaps as weak yen hits imports

Japan registered its worst ever monthly trade deficit in January courtesy of a jump in energy import prices which were driven up by a tumbling yen.

Album review: Local Natives, Hummingbird (Infectious)

Their 2009 debut album saw them compared to Fleet Foxes, who they claimed not to have even heard when they were making it.

The polar bear is a beast that taps into our primitive fear of the ultimate predator

I struggle to get my head around the trophy-hunting of polar bears. When hunting is carried out by indiginous Inuit populations for sustenance, that is different. Inuit hunters use every part of the polar bear's body and demonstrate a profound knowledge and respect for the creature. I have yet to meet a trophy-hunter who has had any real respect for an animal.

Our intrepid MBAs

MBA blog: A truly global business experience

Stepping off the plane in Johannesburg, I already had my flip flops on and was ready for a week-long vacation. I spent the previous few months on an academic exchange in cold Philadelphia, and was ready for sunshine.

Centamin surges after production boom

The gold miner Centamin shrugged off its recent troubles in Egypt today as it shattered production targets, sending the company's shares surging.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

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The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
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In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone