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In, out, or don't care?

  • The UK Prime Minister's much anticipated, much leaked speech on Britain and Europe is finally due today. It is unlikely that there will be any surprises. The central point is to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU by 2017, if the Conservative Party win the 2015 election.
  • The US House of Representatives is to vote on extending the debt ceiling out to 19 May. This appears to be a tactic to focus political energy onto the sequestration (spending cuts) of 1 March, and the continuance (ongoing funding) of 27 March. The debt ceiling was only one part of the fiscal trinity.
  • Prime Minister Abe of Japan has boldly followed up the Bank of Japan decision with a forceful call for the yen's strength to be reversed. Markets heard him respectfully, and respectfully took the yen stronger still.
  • French business sentiment is due in the wake of better than expected numbers from Germany yesterday. Euro consumer confidence is also scheduled, though with a backdrop of a weakening labour market. The UK has unemployment data and the Bank of England minutes.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.