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It's all about monetary policy (almost)

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  • China reported stronger imports and exports, giving cheer to risk markets in Asian trading. With the US consumer digging themselves out of a snowdrift and heading to the mall with grim determination in April, the improvement should not perhaps have been that surprising.
  • The ECB reports on rates (no policy change expected) and we also have the delights of a press conference. Foreign exchange investors, who are convinced only foreign exchange markets matter in the world, will look for detailed currency comments.
  • The Bank of England concludes its two day meeting with no policy change anticipated. The concerns about housing may have been slightly assuaged by the moderation in the RICS survey of prices, although the private sector surveys rarely give a consistent view.
  • Fed Chair Yellen will wearily make her way up to Congress to testify again, this time to Senators. Her remarks yesterday were branded "dovish" but this seems a pretty sensationalist interpretation of what essentially replicated the tone of recent speeches.

Listen to the audio version of this briefing.