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  • Italian elections start over this weekend. Ancient Rome may have managed its votes in a single day before sunset, but modern Italy requires two days of polling. Market concerns focus on the possibility of a weak government being formed and further elections soon.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits US President Obama, and will no doubt make it clear that he has no intention of asking the Bank of Japan to buy foreign bonds. Political rhetoric against the Bank of Japan has continued back in Tokyo.
  • The German ifo index of economic sentiment is due, in the wake of disappointing numbers in the Euro area data yesterday. Market expectations may well have been tempered for today's number. German final Q4 GDP is also scheduled.
  • Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Stevens was sounding generally upbeat about the economy in his parliamentary testimony, reducing the prospect for a rate reduction. He did however acknowledge that a rate reduction was more likely than a rate increase on balance.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.