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Mithril Asset management - Weekly Bulletin presented by Square Mile Financial Services

Weekly Finance Bulletin 12th November 2012

Market Roundup:

Global markets overall lost ground for the week.

Starting with Asia, stocks endured a tough week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei gave up over 3% and the Shanghai Composite (right) shed 2.27%.

China and Hong Kong got a temporary boost from economic data released later in the week, which pointed to the mainland economy stabilizing. Further data from China was also positive, as industrial output edged up beyond expectation, while retail sales and fixed-asset investment also came in slightly ahead of forecasts.

The economic news came as China’s ruling party is currently in the process of week-long talks to facilitate a leadership change that takes place just once a decade.

Stateside, Obama’s tightly contested election battle ended up more on cruise control. The post election honeymoon normally grants an incumbent President at least 3 months, which can transcend to stock markets. For a re-elected President, it’s largely business as usual. Under that scenario, business as usual raised fears of the fiscal cliff.

Indeed the fears focus on more than $600 bln in US tax hikes and spending cuts due to enter the system at the turn of the New Year. Given that Congress is little changed, fears of the cliff remain intact.

In Europe, a monthly report from the Bank of France said economic activity in the euro-zone’s second biggest economy is expected to decline by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, which officially would place France in recession.

Our dear friend Greece was back in the news to secure its next tranche of bailout money ahead of a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers on Monday. It is widely expected that a decision to pay out the next bailout instalment will be delayed until late November yet Greece will agree to further spending cuts.

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