From Japan to Germany to Australia, government borrowing costs reached all-time lows as oil fell 10% in just two days and investors wrestled with the risk of global deflation.
Asian share markets did try to steady after recent steep falls and U.S.
stock futures were a shade firmer, but the gains were hostage to Euro Zone inflation data, due later on Wednesday.
The figures are expected to show the first annual fall in consumer prices since 2009, piling pressure on the European Central Bank to launch all-out quantitative easing at its next policy meeting on January 22.
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