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

Weekly Finance Bulletin 18th of February 2013

Market Roundup:

Activity in Asia was light due to public holidays as Chinese and Taiwanese markets were closed for all week. However Hong Kong’s Hang Seng began its New Year on an upbeat note, advancing 0.9% when markets re-opened on Thursday.

Japan ended the week flat, yet earnings results from exporters helped indices to gain. Data released on Thursday showed that the economy remained in recession during the last quarter of 2012, contracting by 0.1%.

In Europe, GDP data also served as a reality check for markets, which still had a largely positive week. The European Union statistics agency Eurostat said the economy across the 17-nation shared-currency bloc shrank 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with expectations of a 0.4% decline.

In Germany, GDP for the Q4 shrank 0.6%, while economic activity in France also contracted by 0.3%. Both readings were weaker than expected, stoking fears of a new recession in those countries and the possibility of a rate cut at ECB level.

US markets were also flat for the week. Sentiment was lifted slightly by positive manufacturing data from New York state. US industrial production however fell 0.1% in January, softer than expected. Vehicle assemblies fell back from a new cycle high in the previous month, partly offset by a 3.5% bounce in utility output as colder weather set in. A sizeable upward revision to the post-Hurricane Sandy rebound in Nov-Dec suggests that the surprise 0.1% drop in the preliminary reading of Q4 GDP will be revised away in later estimates.

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