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Asian stock markets have rallied again overnight, with Japans Nikkei closing at a new five year high.

The flurry of optimism was created by strong trade data from China in the early hours of the morning. It
posted a 14.7% year on year rise in exports, and 16.7% jump in imports, which erased worries about the
strength of its economy, and global demand generally.

“With central banks across the globe in full blown easing mode what could possible go wrong? Poor
economic data is shrugged off as an irrelevance, note the indifferent reaction to the ugly French
manufacturing data yesterday, while positive economic data like yesterdays much better than expected
German factory orders data for March; helps make the case for some of economic turnaround”

Michael Hewson

While the financial markets remain upbeat, the real European economy remains troubled. With the UK
we’ll be watching out for the IMF. Officials from the international Monetary Fund are arriving for the
start of their annual assessment of the British economy.

This can lead to another front opening up in the ongoing battle between those factoring a fresh
economic stimulus and those committed to fiscal consolidation.

Another sharp fall in Netherlands manufacturing production this morning has added to concerns over
the Dutch economy. Manufacturing output fell 2% month on month in March, on a seasonally adjusted
basis, or 5.3% if you strip out seasonal variations. A nasty reversal on February’s 0.5% expansion.