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Asian markets down on FOMC and Chinese property price controls

Most Asian equity indexes edged lower on Thursday, possibly due to a lack of consensus on extending US QE by key FOMC members and the introduction of Chinese property price controls. Mainland China's Shanghai Composite shed -2.84%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell -1.77%, South Korea's Kospi dropped -0.47% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average eased -1.39%.

Futures for the German DAX 30 and the French CAC 40 are signaling a lower opening by -0.13% ahead of a preliminary release of February Markit PMI data in both countries and in the Eurozone.

Switzerland: Trade surplus widens less than expected in January

Swiss Trade surplus widened to CHF2.126 billion in January from CHF0.904 billion in December, according to data released today by the Swiss Statistics Office. Analysts expected the surplus to widen slightly more to CHF2.200 billion.
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Forex: GBP/USD bouncing off lows, eyes 1.5200

After dipping to the area around 1.5130, levels last seen in July 2010, the sterling is picking up pace and heading towards 1.5200 ahead of the opening bell in London....
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