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China trades!

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  • China's imports and exports both fared better than expected last month, giving rise to optimism about both the Chinese and the global economic outlook in Asian financial market trading. Of course, Chinese imports and exports are interlinked (as China re-exports imports).
  • On the evidence of the BRC retail sales numbers, the UK is not importing much - retail sales were weaker than expected. This might owe something to the weather. The Bank of England starts a two day meeting, with nothing in recent data likely to sway either hawks or doves.
  • The governor of the RBNZ signalled his displeasure at the strength of the New Zealand dollar. Markets ignored him. He then said the RBNZ had been intervening. Markets became very agitated. As a small open economy, much like Switzerland, there is likely to be some international tolerance for intervention.
  • Portugal's bond auctions were well received, raising the prospect that they could apply for an OMT at some point. However, Slovenia's parliament is delaying a decision on a budget cap. Merkel of Germany stated the obvious, describing Europe as "important" to Germany.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.