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March 14, 2013
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  Top Stories 
 
  • U.S. retail sales strong in February
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    Reuters
    U.S. retail sales, a key consumer barometer, surged a surprising 1.1% last month, according to figures released by the Department of Commerce. The gains came despite the continued impact of higher taxes since the beginning of the year and may be augmented in coming weeks by the distribution of income tax refunds. The Wall Street Journal (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Eurozone factory output slides
    Eurozone factory output retreated 0.4% in January, swinging from a 0.9% gain the month before and providing further evidence that the region's long-running recession will extend into the current quarter. The drop exceeded the 0.1% decline predicted by economists. "Falling demand within the eurozone was the key drag on production at the end of last year and will remain so at least in the opening months of 2013," said Anna Zabrodzka, a Moody's Analytics economist, who also noted that a strong euro moving forward is likely to stifle exports. The Wall Street Journal (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ECB policymaker quickly dismisses talk of Italian exit from euro
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    Weidmann/Reuters
    Recent German theorizing on a possible Italian exit from the euro was quickly slapped down by European Central Bank policymaker Jens Weidmann. "I do not believe it makes sense to speculate about individual countries leaving the euro area," Weidmann remarked Wednesday after an address in Cologne. Reuters (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • U.K. economy in a bind as it tilts toward recession
    A number of troubling factors underlie the U.K.'s recent economic and trade numbers, which were already dismal enough. Among them is the fact that despite sterling's decline, exports are failing to pick up, and wage gains, meanwhile, are falling behind inflation, creating a double domestic-trade squeeze on the economy. Eyes are now turning to the Bank of England for further monetary easing, which in itself runs the danger of not providing the kind of stimulus needed. The Wall Street Journal (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • China is said to turn back on currency war
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    Reuters
    The value of China's yuan will continue to fluctuate both up and down as the country refrains from engaging in any kind of currency war despite the actions of some trading partners, said former central bank Deputy Governor Wu Xiaoling. "Printing more money and devaluating the currency could be useful to promote economic growth over a certain period. But if a country doesn't have a sound economic structure or strong growth momentum, it would be poisonous to depend on a looser monetary stance," Wu said. Caijing Magazine online (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Key Bank of Japan nominee wins crucial backing
    The third member of the Bank of Japan team that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wishes to install has won the backing of opposition parties. The now nearly assured approval of Kikuo Iwata as one of two deputy governors means the bank will be headed by prominent critics of the bank's previous cautious policies who now favor strong steps toward Abe's stated goal of 2% inflation. The Wall Street Journal (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
  • INTERNATIONAL MARKETS OVERVIEW
    Weak economic numbers from Europe, including lower earnings reports, and better retail sales data from the U.S. had offsetting effects in markets on both sides of the Atlantic on Wednesday, with indexes ending the day little changed. The Stoxx Europe 600 was down 0.02% at 295.32, and the S&P 500 edged up 0.13% to 1,554.52. Here is a continuously updated list of global stock indexes. The Wall Street Journal (3/14) , Bloomberg (3/13) , CNNMoney (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian stocks ease; China shares respond to inflation remarks
    Most Asian markets extended their pause Wednesday after a recent runup while Chinese shares fell on remarks by the central bank governor indicating a new focus on inflation. The Hang Seng fell 1.46% to 22,556.65, the Nikkei lost 0.61% to 12,239.66 and the S&P/ASX eased 0.50% to 5,092.40 while the Kospi advanced, adding 0.32% to end at 1,999.73. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Trends & Outlook 

  • Risk is noted in 20% of China's local government financing
    Projects that are not producing a profit underlie about 20% of local government financing vehicles across China and pose financial risks, said central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan. This puts a strain on governments, which have to service the debts from other income sources. "We should not underestimate risks in local government financing vehicles, nor should we overestimate them," Zhou said. Xinhuanet.com (China) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Australia's Swan: China will move smoothly to domestic-led growth
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    Swan/Reuters
    Although China faces a problem with its shadowy market for unregulated lending, by and large the country is handling well its transition to growth led by consumption from its previous dependence on investment, said Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan. Swan also said a more measured approach to overall growth will allow China to focus more on such factors as the environment and income inequality. "While some pretty clear risks remain in China's economy, I'm confident that the leadership transition -- currently in its final stages -- will bring a renewed commitment to addressing China's economic challenges," Swan said at the Australian China Business Council's Canberra Networking Day. Xinhuanet.com (China) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Capital Markets & Financial Products 
  • Amid wider opportunity, yuan's global role to grow step by step
    The global financial crisis and attendant loss of confidence in some major currencies worldwide have opened a unique opportunity for further cross-border use of the yuan, said China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan. But the process will proceed slowly, step by step, Zhou said, in a process he described as "quite complicated." Xinhuanet.com (China) (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  People & Personalities 
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