Euro zone Finance Ministers today will likely finalize the combination of the remaining funds in the temporary EFSF with the permanent ESM whose funds will total 940b euros as expected. While seemingly sizeable, it wouldn’t be enough to deal with problems with Italy and Spain if it were to occur. We also can’t ignore the circular nature of the bailout funds where Italy and Spain in particular are contributing money to an entity that could eventually be used in turn to bail them out. German retail sales in Feb unexpectedly fell for the 4th month in the past 5. French consumer spending did rise in Feb but was led by a sharp jump in energy spending as they had an unusually cold winter in contrast to the US. In Asia, Japanese industrial production fell 1.2% m/o/m vs expectations of a rise of 1.3%. The Shanghai index rose off the lowest close since mid Jan after 3 days of losses ahead of key manufacturing data over the weekend.
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