... * Putin expected to comment on rouble crisis. * Economic problems threaten Putin's standing. * Former ally says he should work out "exit strategy" (Updates rouble rate, adds minister).
New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration said on Wednesday.
Switzerland's central bank has introduced a negative interest rate on deposit accounts in a dramatic move aimed at easing the pressure on the Swiss franc.
Average gas prices nationally have dropped to $2.53 a gallon from $2.89 a month ago and $3.23 a year ago. This suggests that inflation remained subdued in December and may remain modest in the coming months.
A Russian tycoon placed under house arrest in September in a move that rattled markets was released from house arrest on Tuesday, just hours before President Vladimir Putin's annual televised press conference.