Good morning. Here’s what you need to know:
- In Asia overnight the Shanghai Composite surged 1.76%. Major European indices are lower this morning, and U.S. futures suggest a lower open. Now here are the 10 unusual stocks attracting huge interest this morning >
- The Chinese government is cutting off subsidies for purchases of cars and trucks in rural areas, effective tomorrow. This comes after the government made similar moves in urban areas. Don’t miss: 17 facts about China that will blow your mind >
- China has increased the value of the yuan breaching the 6.6 USDCNY level for the first time since 1993. Similar moves are expected to occur in 2011, as China attempts to handle domestic inflation. Here’s why China really doesn’t have to revalue the yuan >
- Bird flu has been discovered at two different farms in South Korea. The government has responded by killing over 100,000 birds believed exposed to the virus, in an effort to prevent its spread to humans.
- Rains are crippling the Australian mining industry, hitting a region that produces 40% of the world’s coal for steel production. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, and Anglo American have all had to cancel contracts because of the rains.
- rumours about a potential BHP Billiton acquisition of Anadarko continue to abound this morning. There’s some confidence the rumours are true as well, with the market well aware BHP has the cash after its failed bid for Potash.
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is to offer her support for the euro in her New Year’s speech in Germany. She will say that the euro must be strengthened and that it is the “foundation of our prosperity.” Check out the scary reason Europe is doomed to crisis after crisis >
- At midnight tonight, Estonia will join the euro. It is the first former Soviet Republic to join the currency union. These could be the next dominos to fall in Europe >
- The co-founder of clothing firm The GAP has sold $147 million in shares over the last month. CNBC’s Patty Edwards suggests one reason for this may be the company putting itself up for sale.
- The U.S. Treasury is preparing to IPO Ally Financial, the ex-finance arm of GM. The Treasury is taking the first step by converting its $5.5 billion in preferred shares to common stock.
- Bonus: Alex Rodriguez’s kids liked ex-girlfriend Kate Hudson more than Cameron Diaz, because Kate also had a son.
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