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Daily Scan: Asia sinks; China sees defense sector surge
Updated throughout the day
As investors fret over the outcome of China's five-year economic planning meeting, China markets wavered today, with the Shanghai and Hong Kong indices eking out modest gains of 0.14% and 0.11%, respectively, before the final bell. The rest of Asia meanwhile sunk, ending a four-week rally. Japan was hardest hit, seeing 0.91% drop on the Nikkei 225.
China nerves were offset by big gains in the country's defense sector , which ended up 7.2%, according to Citic Securities. The jump coincides with the news that a US Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands built by China in the South China seas. A move that ups the stakes in an increasingly fragile multinational territorial dispute.
Here’s what else you need to know:
China, Japan, South Korea to hold first summit in three years. The three countries will hold the summit in South Korea when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits. It’s the first such meeting since they were discontinued in 2012 amid tension dating back to World War Two. Reuters
Earthquake devastates southern Asia. At least 180 people have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan after a 7.5 magnitude quake struck the region. The epicenter was in Jarm, Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border. Tremors were felt as far as Tajikistan. CNN
U.K. House of Lords block family tax credits. The U.K. parliament’s upper chamber has issued a rare rebuke to the conservative government over plans to cut tax rebates for working families, a widely unpopular part of a budget-cutting strategy that would affect thousands of British households. Wall Street Journal
Five Britons dead after Canadian whale-watching boat sinks. Five Britons were killed when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of western Canada. The boat carrying 27 people sank near Tofino, a popular tourist area on Vancouver Island, on Sunday afternoon, killing a woman and four men. BBC
US to defy Beijing over South China Sea. The US navy is poised to start freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea in a high-stakes effort to push back against Chinese territorial claims over artificial islands in the disputed resource-rich waters. Financial Times (paywall)
Don't run, don't walk, fly for asylum. The E.U. wants refugees to take paid flights from Greece to other asylum offering countries, rather than face dangerous winter walks. There have already been cases of hypothermia as people wait in the cold, and the E.U. fears the problem will only worsen as winter sets in. Reuters
IMF to include China's yuan in benchmark currency basket. International Monetary Fund staff are set to give the all-clear for China’s yuan to be included in the lende