Spanish and Italian stocks are down sharply again and the euro is moving to a multi week low vs the US$ after Italian mfr’g PMI fell to 43.8 from 47.9 and Spain’s PMI dropped 1 pt to 43.5, both well below 50. The final euro zone mfr’g PMI at 45.9 was little changed with the initial reading but is the weakest since June ’09. Also, Germany reported an unexpected rise in April unemployment by 19k vs an expected drop of 10k. The rate ticked up to 6.8% from 6.7%. The unemployment rate in March in the euro zone rose to 10.9%, a 15 year high. In Asia, China’s HSBC final mfr’g figure was 49.3, up from 48.3 in March and a touch better than the flash number of 49.1. While below 50 for a 6th straight month, the report did lead to a 1.8% rise in the Shanghai index to the highest in 7 weeks. South Korea and India’s mfr’g PMI’s were little changed but Taiwan’s fell to 51.2 from 54.1. Thailand left interest rates unchanged as expected.
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