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Forex Flash: Political uncertainty could unravel Italian economy – Deutsche Bank

Yesterday, Bersani called on all his opponents, including Berlusconi, to back a five-point program of political reform, easing of austerity and job promotion. Angelino Alfano, of Berlusconi's centre-right People of Liberty party, indicated that weeks of tough negotiations lie ahead before a new government takes office, possibly in late March.

According to Macro Strategy Analysts J. Reid and C. Tan at Deutsche Bank, “What worries us is that the weeks and possibly months of uncertainty that lay ahead may stifle any confidence within the Italian economy and hold back the recovery. This would be very unwelcome news but it's a realistic concern if no solid Government can be formed.”

On that note, S&P and Moody's released statements overnight commenting that while there is no change in Italy's BBB+/Baa2 credit ratings just yet, the elections have underscored that risks to carrying out structural and fiscal reforms are substantial.

US MBA Mortgage Applications: -3.8% in Feb 22 from -1.7%

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Forex Flash: Weak Boeing to retrace last US Durable Goods Orders gains – TD Securities

January home sales are expected to rebound by 1.7% M/M after the -4.3% drop in December, while durable goods orders are expected to undo the entire prior month’s gain at -4.7% in January (TD is slightly lower at -5.0%) thanks to weak Boeing orders, according to TD Securities analysts. “Excluding transportation, TD is looking for orders to fall at a far more modest 0.5% M/M pace (mkt +0.2%), mostly on account of weaker defense orders”, wrote analyst Alvin Pontoh, expecting core capital goods orders to post a modest 0.5% M/M gain in January (mkt +0.2%), “underscoring the ongoing improvement in business capital investment activity momentum”.
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