Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Jan 26, 2017

The main lantern set piece at River Hongbao 2017, which features a fiery red rooster, which will help usher in the Year of the Fire Rooster.
The main lantern set piece at River Hongbao 2017, which features a fiery red rooster, which will help usher in the Year of the Fire Rooster. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Thursday (Jan 26) and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

River Hongbao opens

One of the most iconic events of Chinese New Year, the annual River Hongbao, opens on Thursday (Jan 26). Lanterns and fireworks will be on display, and local heart-throb Nathan Hartono is performing. The event is open from 2pm to 11pm daily until Feb 4, but will be extended until 1am on Jan 27, Chinese New Year's Even. Admission is free.

URA data on private residential prices


Private home prices declined by 3 per cent for the full year and dipped 0.4 per cent from the third to fourth quarter. PHOTO: ST FILE

The full set of data on private residential prices for the fourth quarter and full year for 2016 will be unveiled on Thursday (Jan 26) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

According to preliminary estimates, private home prices declined by 3 per cent for the full year and dipped 0.4 per cent from the third to fourth quarter. Home values have dropped by 11.2 per cent since hitting a peak in the third quarter of 2013.

India's 68th Republic Day


Indian school students form India's national flag during an event to mark Republic Day in Chennai on Jan 25, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

India celebrates its 68th Republic Day, which marks the day the Indian constitution came into force, on Thursday (Jan 26) amid a terror alert.

Indian intelligence agencies have warned that Pakistan-based terror groups might try to sneak into the country and carry out attacks in various parts of the country, particularly the national capital of New Delhi.

Thousands of police personnel are deployed across Delhi, where Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will attend a parade showcasing Indian culture and the country’s achievements in the fields of science and technology.

Tight security arrangements have also been made across Punjab, which borders Pakistan, and the north Indian state of Haryana.  

Philippine GDP figures to be announced


Workers sew isolation gowns inside a Medtecs garments plant in Bataan province, north of Manila on April 30, 2009. PHOTO: REUTERS

The Philippine economy is expected to have closed 2016 on a strong note, with robust government spending and domestic demand adding to solid momentum.

Economists expect the GDP figures, to be announced on Thursday (Jan 26), to show a robust rise by a seasonally adjusted 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, accelerating from 1.2 per cent in the July-Sept quarter. A bumpy year is expected ahead amid heightened uncertainty over US policies under President Donald Trump.

US composite PMI estimates to be released


Khokeyma Reed assembles a watch at the Shinola Watch factory in Detroit, Michigan on Jan 4, 2017 . PHOTO: AFP

Flash estimates of the United States' composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for January will be released on Thursday (Jan 26) by Markit.

Composite PMI by the private firm was gauged at 54.1 in December. Services growth had eased and manufacturing accelerated to the highest level since March of 2015.A reading above 50 indicates expansion in business activity while below 50 points to contraction.