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December 27, 2012
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  Top Stories 

  • U.S. home prices jump 4.3% year-on-year
    As of October, U.S. home prices in 20 major cities were up 4.3% from a year before, according to a private index, for the sharpest gain since mid-2010. The S&P/Case-Shiller reading confirms that the key housing market "is definitely starting to recover," adding "about a trillion dollars to household wealth just since the beginning of this year," said Ryan Wang, an economist with HSBC Securities USA. Bloomberg (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japan moves a step closer to higher inflation target
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    Reinforcing incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's determination to raise Japan's inflation target, the key coalition partner New Komeito Party has agreed to the policy. The unified position of the new government adds to pressure on the Bank of Japan to adjust its target to fall in line, a move the central bank has agreed to consider. RTT News (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Consumers powering China recovery
    Consumers are at the leading edge of a modest economic recovery in China, accompanied by upturns as well in real estate, mining and manufacturing, according to China's Beige Book survey of executives nationwide. Separately, the Ministry of Commerce reported that Chinese exports accounted for 11.1% of total world trade in the first three quarters, up 0.6 percentage points from a year before. Reuters (12/26) , (China) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
    A darker outlook for resolution in U.S. budget negotiations pulled U.S. stocks lower Wednesday, with the S&P 500 ending down 0.48% at 1,419.83. European markets were closed, but the Stoxx Europe 600 closed 0.16% lower at 280.50 Monday in light trading amid similar concerns over Washington's apparent budget impasse. Here is a continuously update list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (12/27) , The Wall Street Journal (12/24) , CNNMoney (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Weakening yen powers Japanese shares
    A plunging yen gave a powerful boost to Japanese shares Wednesday, and other Asian markets managed gains as well. The Nikkei jumped 1.49% to 10,230.36 while the Hang Seng added 0.16% to 22,541.18, the Kospi rose 0.02% to 1,982.25 and the S&P/ASX ended 0.25% higher at 4,635.20. MarketWatch (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • China to continue reining in property market
    China will extend its policy of requiring higher down payments and other measures to keep a lid on the property market in 2013, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development says. Separately, nearly 3 in 10 wealthy investors faced big real estates losses after failing to sell luxury properties under the tighter rules, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group and China Construction Bank. China Daily (Beijing) (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Vietnam growth in 2012 is slowest since 1999
    Stagnant lending and sour debts contributed to slower growth in Vietnam's economy this year. The General Statistics Office reported a 5.03% gain in gross domestic product, the slowest since 1999 and down from last year's 5.89% pace. RTT News (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Thai exports jump 26.9% in November
    Thailand's exports surged 26.9% in November from a year earlier, up sharply from October's year-on-year gain of 15.6%, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Looking ahead, "signs of improvement in the global economy lately will ensure export growth next year. We expect the central bank to stand pat from now unless the global economy takes an unexpected dive," said Pimonwan Mahujchariyawong, an economist at Kasikorn Research in Bangkok. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • China considers risk warning for debts of local governments
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    After Guangzhou became the first municipality in China to disclose its local debt, the Ministry of Finance is considering whether to launch a warning system to reveal the risk of local defaults. Governments have been borrowing heavily and launching stimulus measures over the past few months in a bid to buoy the lagging economy. Caijing Magazine online (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Industry & Regulatory Update 
  • Strong yen, overseas M&A activity create business for Japan's brokers
    Japan's Daiwa Securities Group and SMBC Nikko Securities are looking abroad to expand their business as the strong yen creates more demand for advisory services in mergers and acquisitions. "A lot of Japanese companies are making an M&A move bolstered by a strong yen ... and I encourage our bankers to get [advisory] deals," said Daiwa President Takashi Hibino. The Wall Street Journal (12/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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