Press Review: Global Crude Falls Below $50 as U.S. Supply Seen Adding to Glut
Japan's Abe: may be able to declare end of deflation if wages rise
(Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he may be able to declare that Japan has broken free from a long phase of deflation if companies continue to raise wages.
Abe also said he hopes that by improving the economy Japan will be able to contribute to global growth.
SNB Interventions Boost Currency Reserves to Record High
The Swiss National Bank's foreign-currency reserves hit a record in December after an appreciation of the franc forced the institution to end a two-year hiatus in interventions.
Holdings increased to 495.1 billion francs ($490 billion) from a revised 462.7 billion francs in November, the central bank based in Zurich and Bern said on its website today. The holdings are calculated according to International Monetary Fund standards at the beginning of every month.
The SNB said on Dec. 18 that it had resumed purchases of foreign currencies after the franc hit its strongest since 2012 amid a weakening of the Russian economy and the prospect of more euro-area stimulus by the European Central Bank. It imposed a negative deposit rate to stave off capital inflows and lowered its target range for three-month franc Libor to reinforce its three-year-old minimum exchange rate of 1.20 per euro.
Global Crude Falls Below $50 as U.S. Supply Seen Adding to Glut
Oil fell below $50 a barrel in London for the first time since May 2009 amid speculation that U.S. inventories will increase, exacerbating a global supply glut that's driven prices to a five-year low.
Brent futures dropped as much as 2.3 percent for a fifth day of losses. Crude stockpiles in the world's biggest consumer probably expanded by 700,000 barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before an Energy Information Administration report today. China, the second-largest oil user, won't drive a market rebound in 2015 as its net imports will slow, according to Citigroup Inc.