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Let's vote! (or not)

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  • European elections get under way today, with results due on Sunday (why rush? This is Europe, after all). The issue for markets is the extent to which results impact national political developments, and the risk to the international image of Europe.
  • European PMI sentiment data is expected to be little changed from last month, indicating modest expansion. In the wake of the GDP data for the first quarter, market attention may focus on divergence between France and Germany.
  • China's PMI sentiment data improved, triggering waves of euphoria from those investors who have a touching faith in the quality of such data. Orders (home and abroad) picked up, but employment was weak. The employment numbers are likely to be the political focus.
  • UK provisional GDP is expected to show 3.1% yoy growth - which is above the UK trend - in the wake of Bank of England minutes that had a distinctly hawkish hint to them. The US offers little new data - the Fed minutes last night were a study in saying nothing eloquently.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.