The East Asia Pacific region is aging at a faster rate than any other place in history, the World Bank warned Wednesday, a demographic shift likely to cramp public services and economic growth.
Asian markets tumbled Friday, in line with a global sell-off, while the euro held most of its earlier gains after the European Central Bank's revised economic stimulus measures came up short.
European shares rose and the euro weakened Thursday ahead of an expected ECB decision to increase stimulus. Asian markets mostly fell after the U.S. Federal Reserve chief indicated the central bank is on track for an interest rate hike this month.
World stock markets were mostly higher after improved Japanese data and as IMF inclusion of the yuan in its basket of major currencies raised confidence in China's progress toward financial liberalization.
Mainland China's stock markets were hit by another wave of volatility Monday after suffering their heaviest losses since the summer rout, while most other Asian markets started an eventful week on the defensive.
A plunge in mainland Chinese stocks dragged Asian markets down Friday after authorities launched a probe into several brokerages and profits at the country's industrial giants sank far more than expected.
Asian stock markets retreated Wednesday, with airlines taking a hit as dealers fret over increased geopolitical tensions following the downing of a Russian jet by Turkey.
The signing on Sunday by the leaders of the 10 Southeast Asian countries of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the formation of the ASEAN Community by Dec. 31 should not be misconstrued as the culmination of the process of economic integration in the region. It is only the beginning and remains a work in progress.
Thirteen years after the idea was mooted, Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday formally created a unified economic community in a region more populous and diverse than the European Union or North America, and with hopes of competing with China and India.
Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's top two palm oil producers, signed an agreement Saturday to set up a council for palm oil producing countries in a bid to ensure price stability by managing production and stock in the global market.