Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
Today is very likely to be the big day for the Federal Reserve. The American central bank will most likely raise its benchmark rate for the first time in nine years, ending the zero interest-rate regime that was designed to support the economy after the Great Recession.
Natural gas is crashing. Natural gas prices fell to a 16-year low. Futures in New York fell nearly 4% to as low as $1.820 per million British thermal units. The plunge in natural gas prices appears to be related to the warmer-than-usual weather.
UK unemployment figures are coming today. At 9:30 a.m. UK time (4:30 a.m. ET) the Office for National Statistics releases the latest unemployment figures. The rate currently stands at 5.3%.
The EU will continue sanctions on Russia. The European Union is set to agree a six-month extension of its economic sanctions on Russia, once Italy’s prime minister has discussed the issue with his fellow leaders at a summit in Brussels, diplomats said.
Petrobas is dealing with its debt. Petrobras, the scandal-plagued Brazilian oil giant, plans to sell off more assets next year to offset rising debt that has soared to five times the company’s value, its president Aldemir Bendine said Tuesday.
Greece changed its loan rules. Greek lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation granting the right to sell bad business loans from local banks to overseas funds as part of a new austerity bill demanded by bailout lenders from the rest of the eurozone.
Europe’s development bank is holding back funding for Volkswagen. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has put the brakes on €250 million of funding it had approved to help build a new Volkswagen factory in Poland.
The Arctic is heating up. Air temperatures in the Arctic are the hottest in 115 years, and the melting ice destroying walrus habitat and forcing some fish northward, a global scientific report said Tuesday.
Swiss banks are on the hook for tax evasion. Three Swiss banks, including a unit of France’s Crédit Agricole SA , will pay a total of more than $130 million (£92 million) to the US Justice Department to avoid possible prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes.
Russia almost hit one of its own villages with a missile. A Russian cruise missile went astray after a test launch Tuesday, landing near a village in northwestern Russia but inflicting no casualties, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
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