Market Vibrations: Live News and Commentary from the Europe Desk (1215 GMT)
1215 GMT: EMU peripheral markets continue to enjoy the ECB's LTRO will Italian and Spanish yields narrowing significantly. EU's Rehn has been pointing out the obvious, saying the 17 nations bloc needs to work to solve the confidence crisis. Eleswhere, EU diplomats say the EU has agreed on a suing process for countries that breach the fiscal pact. EU's Barroso has said Spain promised to present a budget in March, which he must see before making decisions.
1020 GMT: The inflation rate in the 17-member Euro bloc rose to 2.7% on the year this past January, the European Union’s stats office said today. Economists had predicted a rise to 2.6%. The rise was attributed to geopolitical tensions out of the Persian Gulf which have caused a jump in oil prices. Meanwhile, manufacturing PMIs out of the Eurozone have yielded mixed results, with key players Germany and France coming in basically close to expectations and staying above the key boom-bust line of 50. Meanwhile, The Eurozone unemployment rose more than expected to 10.7%.
0810 GMT: Markets seem to be avoiding risk after the Fed's Bernanke yesterday failed to mention a third round of quantitative easing. Bernanke also said that the Fed's previous statement of intent to keep ultralow interest rates until 2014 was not "set in stone." Eleswhere, Swiss Q4 GDP has come out slightly above expectations (1.3% vs. expected 1.0% on the year). Meanwhile, the German press is reporting that Merkel's CDU party supports allowing the EFSF to run a few months longer than planned. The highlight of the Asian session was the Chinese PMI for February caming in at 51.0. Stay tuned for European PMIs later today.
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