Factory output contracted 5.5 per cent last month from a year earlier, falling short of market expectations yet again. A Bloomberg poll of 17 economists had been for a 3.0 per cent contraction. The last time the manufacturing sector posted an expansion was in January.
Shares in Singapore-listed Interplex Holdings surged over 11 per cent at the start of trading on Thursday (Dec 24) after a takeover offer from Baring Private Equity Asia.
Asian bourses mostly made further headway on Thursday in shortened trading sessions to firmer oil prices and holiday cheer. The Straits Times Index (STI) was not left out of the party, inching up 13.97 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 2,877.62 before trading ended for the day at 12.30 pm.
Hyatt Hotels on Wednesday (Dec 23) revealed that it had recently discovered malicious computer code on computers used for processing payments at locations it manages. In a short statement, Hyatt did not disclose what, if anything, the cyber attack accomplished but said that the company immediately "launched an investigation and engaged leading third-party cyber security experts".
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (A-Reit) is proposing to buy a logistics property in Sydney, Australia, for A$76.6 million (S$77.9 million) from Deka Australia One GmbH. The property at 6-20 Clunies Ross Street, Pemulwuy, will be A-Reit's 10th logistics facility in Sydney and its 27th in Australia.
Raizen Energia and Singapore-listed Wilmar International plan to establish a sugar venture in Brazil to rival the partnership between Cargill and Copersucar, the nation's leading exporter this year (2015).
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet approved on Thursday (Dec 24) a record fiscal 2016 Budget that counts on higher growth and tax revenue to achieve his aim of reviving the economy and reining in huge public debt.