Global Investment News Roundup

Barclays: Japan 4Q GDP Will Shrink 12.1%; Holiday Sales Worst Since 1970; American Greetings Buys Recycled Paper Greetings; Consumer Confidence Hits Record Low; China Eastern Gets Additional Funds; Gazprom Gets Paid

  • U.S. holiday season shopping was the worst since at least 1970, with bottom lines plagued by low demand, heavy discounting and unfriendly weather, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) said yesterday (Tuesday). ICSC’s tally runs up to December 27, and its chief economist, Michael Niemira isn’t holding out for a miracle turnaround in the remaining days, Reuters reported.
  • Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, with the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index dropping to 38 for the month from a revised 44.7 in November. Rising layoffs and the deteriorating housing market were the biggest reasons for the decline.
  • The Chinese government more than doubled the size of a bailout for China Eastern Airlines Corp. Ltd. (ADR: CEA), just weeks after announcing a plan to pump $440 million (3 billion yuan) into the carrier, the Financial Times reported. China Eastern said it would now receive more than 900 million (7 billion yuan) through a private placement of Hong Kong and Shanghai-listed shares to its state-owned parent company.