*The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond´s manufacturing index logged a positive surprise.
*There were 225 thousand new jobless claims in the US in the week ending on December 24th, in line with estimates.
*Ex-Bank of Japan Deputy and critic of current Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, Hirohide Yamaguchi emerges as next central bank head contender.
*Russia rejects Ukrainian President Zelensky´s peace plan and demands Ukraine accept the annexation of four Ukrainian regions to Russia.
*The number of agreements to buy previously occupied houses in the United States dropped for a sixth consecutive month and reached its lowest level in 20 years after a monthly -4% decrease was logged during November.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond´s manufacturing index set at 1 point during December; from the previous -9 logged the month prior. With this, the index exceeded the median of analysts´ estimates (-10), where none of the participants expected a positive figure. It´s also worth pointing out that the Federal District of Richmond represents 9.1% of US GDP. The component index of shipments increased from -8 to 5 and was mainly boosted by the subcomponent of new shipment volumes, which logged a more moderate negative figure; it improved from -14 to -4. Also, there was improvement in usability which increased from -16 in November to -10; and the number of employees, which returned to positive territory (3) for the first time since August. Lastly, raw material inventory levels remained unchanged at 24.