- Asian stocks fell and emerging market currencies weakened on Wednesday after China allowed the yuan to weaken further and North Korea confirmed rumors it had tested a nuclear bomb. The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1% after the People's Bank of China set the yuan's midpoint rate at its weakest level in four and a half years.
- China will extend a ban on selling by big shareholders until permanent rules to restrict such sales take effect, the Financial Times reports. The paper said the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources, that China's securities regulator is drafting new permanent rules to restrict sales by major stockholders.
- U.S. carmaker General Motors (GM) reported a 5.2% rise in its sales in China last year, to 3.61 million vehicles. GM and its Chinese joint venture partners sold 445,227 vehicles last month, a 14% rise from a year earlier, matching its growth rate for November.
- Pharmaceuticals company Valeant (VRX) plans to appoint a new CEO while its chief executive, Michael Pearson, is in hospital care, the Wall Street Journal reports. It is not clear whether the replacement would be permanent or temporary.
- U.K. department store John Lewis posted record Christmas sales, despite fears that the warm weather would affect sales. Revenues rose by 6.9% from last year, boosted by solid online sales.
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