China: China HSBC PMI Contracts in December, Raising Growth Concerns
Chinese factory output fell for a second straight month in December, boosting expectations that more stimulus measures will be needed to avoid a sharper slowdown amid slowing activity in the world’s second-largest economy. (Source: CNBC)

Sweden: Swedish Finance Minister Says GDP Outlook May Need to Be Cut
The Swedish government will most probably lower its GDP forecast taking in consideration the weakening outlook for the euro area. The three-month-government estimated in October economic growth will accelerate to 3 percent in 2015 from 2.1 percent this year. (Source: Bloomberg)

Greece: Moscovici Backs Athens, Warns of Risks to Stability
A potential return of the threat of a Greek eurozone exit would be “a pity,” European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Monday during a visit to Athens, the first since he was appointed to his new post last month. (Source: ekathimerini).

Global: Brent Declines to Record-Low
On Tuesday, Brent crude oil prices dropped over USD 1 per barrel and to less than USD 60 per barrel for the first time since July 2009. (Source: Reuters)

Russia: Russia Defends Ruble With Biggest Rate Rise Since 1998
The Russian Central Bank took an unprecedented decision to shore up the ruble and defuse the currency crisis threatening its stricken economy. In a surprise announcement just before 1 a.m. in Moscow, the Russian central bank said it would raise its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent, effective today. The move was the largest single increase since 1998, when Russian rates soared past 100 percent and the government defaulted on debt.

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