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With Russia gripped by a currency crisis that threatens to pull the country’s economy deep into recession and possibly trigger wider economic damage, global markets are in full flight to safety mode. The US dollar is up against most majors, with investors buying bonds while selling equities.

The ruble continues to come under massive selling pressure, despite Monday’s 650 basis point interest rate hike. The Russian central bank is intervening in the market to stabilize the currency’s value, throwing $1.9 billion in reserves at the problem overnight. The currency has snapped back, but remains the focus of extreme volatility as traders dance with

Japan started the session off on a good footing. The country’s trade balance tightened in November, as it imported 93 billion dollars in goods, beating expectations around the 99 billion dollar mark. Declining oil prices helped to cut oil import costs by almost 22% in November, helping to put the country on a more sustainable footing.

The United Kingdom was also able to pick up some optimism this morning with earnings rising, while jobless numbers remained stable. The Average Earnings Index printed an increase of 1.4% which beat expectations by 0.1%. Unemployment claims decreased by close to 27,000, handily beating expectations around the 20,000 mark. Both are indications that businesses are willing and able to pay more for labour, and are likely to translate into inflationary pressure in the early new year. Currency markets were mostly indifferent, with the pound rising only marginally against the greenback.

Looking into the North American session, oil prices may have found the bottom which the market has been waiting for since the tumble in prices began this summer. Currently, front-end West Texas Intermediate contracts are trading at the $55/bbl level where the market has been hovering around since yesterday morning.

Canada started the morning off with disappointing month over month wholesale numbers. Sales missed expectations, only increasing by 0.1% with expectations being an increase of 0.9%. Since retailers order more goods from wholesalers when they expect consumer sales to increase, this could be a sign of faltering consumer spending in Canada – although holiday spending is fully underway.

South of the border, month over month Consumer Price Index numbers missed expectations, decreasing by 0.3% compared with an expected decrease of 0.1%. For the rest of the day, the Federal Reserve monetary policy statement will be in the spotlight. With a combination of sustainable labour market gains, softening inflation expectations from price level data, and downward energy prices, it will be interesting to see what the Fed’s language will be for their last statement of the year. With expectations geared toward the Fed keeping rates steady at their current level, market attention will be on any language that addresses when a rate hike might come, and what the determining factors will be.

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Join a live coverage of the Fed decision from 18:45 GMT

EUR/USD falls below 1.24 on fresh ECB QE talk