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Asian markets down ahead of Cypriot banks re-opening and capital controls

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Except for Malaysia, Pakistan and the Philippines, the largest bourses in Asia took a hit on Thursday. Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite (-2.85%), Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (-1.05%), Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average (-1.26%) and South Korea’s Kospi (-0.22%) fell ahead of the scheduled the re-opening of Cypriot banks (and the imposition of capital controls) and low chances of a government being formed in Italy today.

Futures for the German DAX 30 (-0.01%) and the German DAX 30 (-0.03%) are signaling a slightly lower opening ahead of news coming from Cyprus and Italy, as well as unemployment data in Germany, EMU money supply and Italian business confidence.

Germany: Annual Retail Sales drop 2.2% in February

Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland informed on Thursday that year-over-year German Retail Sales dropped 2.2% in February, compared with the 2.5% increase in January and well below forecasts of +0.4%.
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UK: Annual Nationwide Housing Prices grow 0.8% in March

On an annual basis UK Nationwide Housing Prices increased 0.8% in March, after remaining flat the previous month, Nationwide revealed on Thursday. This result is almost in line with projections of +0.9.
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