Morning Minutes: What will make headlines, Dec 23, 2015

The final round of COE bidding for 2015 will end later today.
The final round of COE bidding for 2015 will end later today.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Good morning! Morning Minutes is a round-up of stories that will break on Wednesday, Dec 23, and which we think you'd be interested in.

It appears on weekdays, available by 7am.

Final round of COE bidding for 2015

The year’s last tender for certificates of entitlement (COE) will close on Wednesday (Dec 23).  Prices ended mostly lower in the earlier tender this month, as the market cooled with the year-end school holidays. Premiums had dipped for COEs in the small and large car categories. - CHRISTOPHER TAN

Consumer price index out today

Shoppers at the grocery section in NTUC FairPrice Xtra at Serangoon NEX mall. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore's consumer price index (CPI) for November will be released today. The gauge has shown negative headline inflation for 12 straight months already, although core inflation - seen as a better gauge of everyday household expenses - has been rising on items such as education and food. In October, headline inflation fell 0.8 per cent from the same month a year ago - extending the longest stretch of deflation experienced since 2009.

Syrian foreign minister in China to improve ties

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Oct 2, 2015. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Syria’s foreign minister will visit China on Wednesday (Dec 23), the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, as Beijing tries to play a more active role in finding an end to the Syrian conflict. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem will be in China from Dec 23-26 and will meet his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

China is heavily reliant on the region for oil, and has played host to both sides in the Syrian conflict. The visit follows Friday's approval of a resolution by  UN Security Council, which endorsed an international road map for a Syrian peace process - a rare show of unity among major powers on a conflict that has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives.