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Investors digest the US toxic assets plan...

A bit of a break in the trend late yesterday as stocks retreated as investors digests the US plan for toxic assets: the retreat was led by bank stocks. This has led to the USD firming up against the pound and breaking back through 1.35 against the euro. Later today from the US we have durable goods orders for February, here we are set to see a further fall and the market will look to see the scale of the fall against the backdrop of Januarys -5.2% dip. We also see new home sales from the US which could actually come in better than the all time low in January. Interesting data yesterday from the UK saw inflation levels fall in relation to RPI and rise in the context of CPI. The retail price index dropped to 0 from 0.1%, however CPI rose to 3.2%- this is very suprising and probably a shock to the Bank Of England as energy prices have been falling, interest rates cut dramatically and price cuts introduced in the retail sector. Bear in mind that we have just introduced Quantitative Easing as a concern to counter falling inflation. Yesterday Mervyn King sent a clear defining message to the government that there is no more room for added stimulus in the UK budget- this essentially means that we have to rely on the rate cuts and QE to weather the downturn. Data released today from the German IFO survey showed that German business confidence slid further- the euro may come under pressure as the ECB look towards a potential rate cut in April.

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