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

Weekly Finance Bulletin 4th of March 2013

Market Roundup:

Starting with Asia, most major indices ended in the green, with the only exception being the Singapore Strait and Bombay Sensex.

Indeed economic news from China came in at disappointing levels. A government-sponsored survey of Chinese manufacturing activity released Friday showed growth in the sector's activity slowing. The China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing's version of the manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.1 from the previous month's 50.4, missing expectations for an increase to 50.5.

In Europe the mood was also muted. Coming into the week, the Euro zones latest problem child, Italy went to the polls. As the votes came in it became clear that elections were to end in stalemate and even a hung parliament as the anti establishment party led by (in a cruel irony) a former comedian took more votes than expected. The news has added fresh fears for the single currency as the lack of stability in its 3rd largest economy may be at stake.

The single currency came under pressure as Italy once again came in with a poor PMI reading and January unemployment for the euro zone reached a record 11.9%, with jobless levels in Spain at 26.2%. Youth unemployment in Spain was 55%, and in Italy that level hit 38.7%.

US indices had been under pressure most of the week, yet they erased losses on Friday to turn mostly higher as a measure of U.S. manufacturing activity came in better than expected rising to 54.2% from 53.1% last month. However lucking in the background was the 1st March deadline for a Sequester compromise which concern $85bln in tax spending cuts.

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