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    Japanese factory output rose for the first time in six months in November and manufacturers expect to boost production in coming months, suggesting that firm demand in Asia will help the economy resume a recovery early next year.

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    Five things you should be aware of today: China raised interest rates 25 basis points. Japan readies for 2011 FX intervention. Most of the markets are closed due to holidays and weather. Predictions for 2011. And US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is set to stay.

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    Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry will buy a majority stake in a Hitachi display unit for about $1.2 billion, making it the world's top ranked maker of small and medium sized LCDs, the Nikkei newspaper said on Monday.

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    Japan has managed to meet its caps on spending and new bond issuance in compiling a budget for the year from next April, the finance minister said on Friday, as the government struggles to mend its tattered public finances.

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    Japan has managed to meet its caps on spending and new bond issuance in compiling a budget for the year from next April, the finance minister said on Friday, as the government struggles to mend its tattered public finances.

  • United States Federal Reserve

    The Federal Reserve extended a program set up earlier this year to ease strains from the European debt crisis.

  • A bucket of KFC Extra Crispy fried chicken is displayed October 30, 2006 in San Rafael, California. KFC is phasing out trans fats and plans to use zero trans fat soybean oil for cooking of their Original Recipe and Extra Crispy fried chicken as well as other menu items. KFC expects to have all of its 5,500 restaurants in the U.S. switched to the new oil by April 2007.

    KFC for that special Christmas meal, anyone? In Japan, the answer is a resounding yes. The FT reports.

  • The balance of financial power is moving towards emerging markets, such as Asia and Latin America, James McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global investors, of one of the largest asset management firms, told CNBC on Friday.

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    Halfway through the month we're hearing more and more cautiously optimistic comments about the pace of sales. And almost all of them say the same thing: sales continue to pick up and people are increasingly coming into showrooms around the country.

  • Chinese shipping containers

    Asia’s clean bill of health presents two major opportunities. The first is to re-ignite the drive towards closer economic cooperation that has been stalled since the late 1990s Asian Financial Crisis.

  • 2011 Ford Fiesta

    Ford is thriving because it's becoming a more nimble, flexible auto maker. Nowhere is that more evident than in Ford's announcement Tuesday that its plant outside Detroit will be the first in the world to build standard internal combustion, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles in one plant.

  • 2010 Toyota Prius

    The statement was clear. What's unclear is what fallout, if any, will come from GM CEO Dan Akerson calling the Toyota Prius a "geek mobile." The Prius has been an unqualified hit for Toyota, and when was the last time GM introduced a "game changer." Which is why a lot of people are wondering what right Akerson has to call Prius owners geeks.

  • Ford

    In the last 3 months as I've been covering a series of announcements by the Big 3 about their plans to hire workers and add shifts, I continually hear one comment from viewers and readers: "Are these jobs gonna stick or will these people be laid off in a few years?"

  • The "Fast Money" traders discuss how to trade Japanese bond yields and food Prices, as well.

  • Why several stocks in this space are nearing 52-week highs.

  • Businesspeople seated side by side

    When Toshiba held a welcome ceremony for 35 recruits recently, the incoming employees listened to speeches and sang the company song. The event mirrored ceremonies held at other Japanese companies, but with one crucial difference – the recruits were foreigners who spoke little Japanese. The FT reports.

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    The latest survey from DuPont about the most popular colors for cars and trucks around the world. Warning: don't expect to find this list intriguing.

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    There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen. 

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    As we work our way through the last month of the year, there's an intriguing story playing out with Hyundai and Chrysler.

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    The auto industry is re-making itself. It is leaner, more efficient and smaller. And in that transition there is a need for engineers and those with technical knowledge to build more fuel efficient vehicles.