Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Dec 7, 2016

The British parliament will begin to hear a debate on a motion demanding that British Prime Minister Theresa May promise to publish a plan for Brexit before triggering the Article 50 procedure that kicks off the two-year countdown.
The British parliament will begin to hear a debate on a motion demanding that British Prime Minister Theresa May promise to publish a plan for Brexit before triggering the Article 50 procedure that kicks off the two-year countdown.PHOTO: AFP

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Wednesday (Dec 7) and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

British parliament to hear Brexit motion

The British parliament is expected to hear a debate on a motion set to be put forward by the opposition Labour Party today (Dec 7), demanding that British Prime Minister Theresa May promise to publish a plan for Britain's exit from the European Union before triggering the Article 50 procedure which kicks off the two-year countdown.

Mrs May could face a rebellion from members of her Conservative party when parliament debates the motion, with reports saying up to 40 Conservative lawmakers could back the motion. She has said her administration will not give a running commentary on its Brexit plan so as not to hamper its negotiating strategy.

NTU to launch maritime research laboratory


Students studying at the Hive in NTU. PHOTO: ST FILE

Nanyang Technological University is launching a maritime research laboratory today (Dec 7) that will develop eco-friendly technologies for Singapore’s marine and offshore industry.

The new lab is equipped with the region’s first dual-fuel marine engine, that will allow researchers to look at how to retrofit existing ships to operate using dual fuel types - with one being clean fuel. This is a cheaper option than the complete overhaul needed for an existing ship to operate entirely on clean fuel.

Third quarter economic growth figures for Australia


Cars drive along an expressway with the business district of Perth, Australia, in the distance. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Australia’s third quarter economic growth figures are out today. Economists expect the data to show the economy either barely grew or shrank, on the back of sliding business investment and a lacklustre outlook. Still, policymakers have been sounding more optimistic on the outlook amid higher prices for key commodity exports. 

China's foreign exchange reserves expected to fall to lowest since March 2011


A currency exchange advertisement seen in Hong Kong, China. PHOTO: REUTERS

China is set to release its foreign exchange reserves today, as analysts expect data to show a drop of some US$60 billion (S$85.3 billion) last month from October's levels - its fourth straight decline this year. China’s foreign exchange reserves fell US$45.7 billion – the most in nine months – in October and by far more than expected to the lowest since March 2011.

The declines indicate further capital outflows despite recent signs that the world’s second-largest economy was stabilising.

Malaysia to release balance of trade data today


Shipping containers seen in Port Klang, Selangor. Exports are expected to fall for the second month in a row. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Malaysia is expected to report exports in October fell for the second month in a row, analysts say, due to a higher base of comparison with last year and despite a recovery in commodity prices. The country will release its balance of trade data today (Dec 7).

Economists forecast exports fell 5.8 per cent in October, nearly twice the pace as in September, as shipments have been pressured by weak oil prices and a slump in demand for manufactured goods. Imports in October are forecast to dip 0.2 per cent from a year earlier, little changed from a 0.1 per cent fall in September. Malaysia’s trade surplus is expected to widen slightly to 8.1 billion ringgit (S$2.59 billion), from 7.6 billion ringgit in September.