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Forex Flash: Steadfast implementation of reforms pushed in Europe – Deutsche Bank

European Commission president Barroso reportedly wrote a letter to European leaders urging "steadfast implementation of reforms", apparently to counter growing criticism of European austerity. According to the NY Times, the letter was accompanied by charts that showed Ireland and Portugal as having benefited from rigorous turnaround programs, but that also showed countries including France, Italy, Belgium and Hungary were still disadvantaged by high labor costs compared with their trading partners.

On a separate but related theme, The Guardian writes that several polls have shown French President Hollande's approval ratings to be the lowest of any modern French leader 10 months into a presidency, which the article links to poor economic growth and rising unemployment. “However it's fair to say that European sovereign fears are still fairly low.” notes Macro Strategy Analysts J. Reid and C. Tan at Deutsche Bank. Spanish 10yr bond yields are now trading just 12bp wide to Italy – its narrowest for quite some time.

Forex Flash: Sizable miss for the first UK hard data of 2013 – TD Securities

UK industrial and manufacturing production fell even more that consensus expectations, “but we would caution that the sticker shock is much worse than the underlying trend in the data that remains close to flat”, wrote analyst Tim Davis.
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Portugal Jan Global Trade Balance: €-2.221B vs €-2.58B in Dec

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