The Week In Numbers – Deflating Eurozone

It has finally happened. After months of very subdued inflation, the Eurozone has entered deflation. For the first time since 2009, prices in the Eurozone have fallen. The European statistics bureau, Eurostat, said inflation in the 18 countries that make up the Eurozone fell 0.2% in December.

The price of a barrel of oil slumped to a five-and-a-half year low. Concerns of a supply glut sent a barrel of the black stuff below US$50 a barrel – the lowest since 2009.

What’s more, it seems that drillers are continuing to find new sources of oil, which is adding to the misery for oil companies. American driller ConocoPhillips said this week that it has struck oil at a Norwegian North Sea project, potentially adding more oil to the already growing supply of oil.

DBS Group (SGX: D05) has warned that Singapore could be affected by higher rates and falling oil prices.  The boss of Singapore’s biggest bank, Piyush Gupta, said the credit cycle in Asia is turning. He added that domestic restructuring would pose further challenges.

Staying with banks, Standard Chartered said it was cutting 2,000 jobs. The Asian-focussed bank said it was closing the bulk of its global equities business in a move to revive its fortunes. Around 200 staff in countries that include Singapore Hong Kong and Indonesia are reportedly affected.

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