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Asian markets improve but Japan's Nikkei extends fall

Japan's Nikkei Stock Average fell again today, by -1.27%, as investors almost confirm Kuroda as new BoJ Governor, after Japan’s opposition party (DPJ) announcing their support. Italy's political stalemate is hurting global sentiment. However, most Asian equity indexes edged higher on Wednesday: Mainland China's Shanghai Composite (+0.76%), South Korea's Kospi (+0.20%), Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.16%).

The German DAX 30 (+0.57%) and the French CAC 40 (+0.61%) are signaling a higher opening ahead of EMU confidence and money supply data. German March consumer confidence by GfK rose from 5.8 to 5.9 as expected, while Import Prices rose 0.1% (MoM) in January, still allowing a drop from +0.3% to -0.8% on the annualized basis (consensus of -0.6%).

Germany: Import Price Index up 0.1% in January

The German Import Price Index rose 0.1% in January, compared with the 0.5% fall in December, Deutsche Bundesbank reported on Wednesday. Analysts projected more growth of 0.3%.
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Switzerland: UBS Consumption Indicator slides to 1.18 in January

The Swiss UBS consumption indicator dropped slightly to 1.18 in January from 1.32 registered the previous month, according to data released today by UBS.
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