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Look at me, look at me!

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  • North Korea's leadership is jumping up and down and crying "Look at me!", with pledges to test missiles and nuclear warheads. Markets have given them a cursory glance, said "that's nice, dear", and turned their attention to other things.
  • The UK Prime Minister has adopted tactics that are not wildly different from those of North Korea, asking for renegotiation of UK relations with the EU and a vote on membership. Germany's Merkel reminded him other countries have their own needs (hers being to avoid any suggestion of a referendum in Germany).
  • China's flash PMI of manufacturing sentiment reached a two year high. The problem is the translation of this. Japan's exports to China slumped still further - the structure of China's growth is different to what it has been in the past and it has changed China's growth impact on other economies.
  • The Euro area's flash PMI is scheduled for release today - German sentiment having improved, but the Euro area as a whole remaining weak as an economy. The UK's Cameron and Germany's Merkel are scheduled to speak at Davos; sadly not side by side.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.