* S Korea manufacturing at three-year low

* Iran raises tension with missile test

* Exxon wins $900m in Venezuela claim

* Europe’s leaders warn of tough 2012

* Samsung and Hyundai issue rallying call

* China’s factories expand output

* Commodities poised for first annual decline since 2008 on Europe

* India to allow overseas investors to buy stocks

* Nigeria to end major gasoline subsidy

* Accusations fly as oil slick hits Nigeria coast

* Markets: mixed

S Korea manufacturing at three-year low
South Korean manufacturers are reporting the worst business conditions for three years as the world’s seventh-biggest exporter braces for a global slowdown and continued uncertainty in the eurozone, the FT reports.

Iran raises tension with missile test
Iran said on Monday it had successfully test fired a long-range missile during its naval exercise in the Gulf, flexing its military muscle to show it could hit Israel and US bases in the region if attacked, according to Reuters (via the FT).

Exxon wins $900m in Venezuela claim
An international arbitration panel has awarded US oil company ExxonMobil $908m in compensation for Venezuela’s 2007 nationalisation of assets, less than 10 per cent of what it sought in a dispute that pitted a top global oil company against one of the world’s largest oil exporters, Reuters reports.

Europe’s leaders warn of tough 2012
Europe’s leaders warned 2012 was likely to be tougher than 2011, when spiralling borrowing costs forced political change in Italy and Spain and threatened the survival of the euro, Reuters reports.

Samsung and Hyundai issue rallying call
Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s two biggest companies by market value, issued a rallying call to staff on Monday and warned of tougher business conditions for 2012 amid the global economic slowdown, reports the FT.

China’s factories expand output
China’s big manufacturers narrowly avoided a contraction in December a survey showed on Sunday, but downward risks persist and suggest the world’s second’s second-largest economy will need fresh policy support to counter a slowdown in growth, Reuters reports. The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI), complied by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) on behalf of the National Bureau of Statistics, rose to 50.3 in December from 49 in November. The HSBC purchasing managers’ index for China, meanwhile, hit 48.7 this month, softer than November’s 47.7 reading, the FT reported.

Commodities poised for first annual decline since 2008 on Europe
Commodities posted the first annual drop since 2008, paced by declines in cotton, copper and cocoa, on concern that the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe and a cooling Chinese economy will sap demand for raw materials, Bloomberg reports.

India to allow overseas investors to buy stocks
India’s government will allow overseas individual investors to directly buy local equities as the country seeks to boost capital inflows and reduce volatility in the stock market, Bloomberg reports.

Nigeria to end major gasoline subsidy
Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, said it’s scrapping gasoline subsidies that account for about a quarter of government spending to free up funds for building infrastructure such as power plants and roads, Bloomberg reports. President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration says ending the fuel allowance will help save 1.2 trillion naira ($7.5bn) this year, or about 25 percent of the government’s 4.8 trillion naira spending plan. The money will be channeled instead toward capital projects.

Accusations fly as oil slick hits Nigeria coast
Nigerian villagers say oil washing up on the coast comes from a Royal Dutch Shell loading accident last month that caused the biggest spill in Africa’s top producer in more than 13 years, Reuters reports. Shell denies that any of the oil is from its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Bonga facility, 120 km offshore and accounting for 10 per cent of monthly oil flows, which was shut down by the spill on December 20.

Emerging Markets
MSCI Emerging Market Index down -0.17% at 914.84

Europe
FTSE up +0.10% at 5,572
RTS down -0.10% at 1,380
Warsaw Wig up +0.91% at 37,936
FTSE 300 Eurotop up +0.49% at 1,006

Americas
DJIA down -0.57% at 12,218
S&P 500 down -0.43% at 1,258
Bovespa up +0.39% at 56,754

Asia
Nikkei 225 up +0.67% at 8,455
Topix up +0.90% at 728.61
Hang Seng up +0.20% at 18,434
Shanghai Composite up +1.19% at 2,199
MSCI Asia ex-Japan down -0.30% at 457.25
S&P CNX Nifty Index up +0.27% at 4,637

Currencies
€/$ 1.29 (1.29)
$/¥ 76.90 (76.94)

Commodities
Brent Crude (ICE) down -0.79 at 107.22
Light Crude (Nymex) down -0.59 at 99.06
100 Oz Gold (Comex) up +24.20 at 1,564

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