By Research Team, 1130: Warning of two earthquakes in Japan, the second of which is just now breaking over Bloomberg and the USGS. Meanwhile, US mortgage applications fell slightly (-2.4%) the week of March 9th. EU's Juncker has been on the wires, saying the EFSF has been authorized to release EUR 39.4bln to Greece. This comes after the EU formally ratified the Greek bailout earlier today. 0950: Jobless claims in the UK increased by 7,200 in February, the London-based office for national statistics said today. Economists had predicted a smaller rise of 5,000. Unemployment levels in the UK remained at 8.4%, the highest rate in over 15 years. Cable was relative unmoved by the news intraday. 0900: Spain's PM has been on the wires with some upbeat comments, saying that the country's new deficit target is "reasonable" and accessible. He added that establishing an EU firewall is still a priority for Spain. Officials from S&P have been more downbeat regarding the Greek issue today, with Chambers saying the current Greek solution just "kicks the can down the road." Chambers added though that he deosn't see Greece leaving the Eurozone, and that the credit rating agency is likely to restore Greece to triple-C rating. 0700: Today's European session opens with markets little impacted by yesterday's FOMC decision to leave any changes to policy on hold for the time being. With interest rates set to remain at ultra low levels for the foreseeable future, equity markets are well bid as investor borrow money at practically nothing. Asian session highlights overnight included Aussie consumer confidence falling some 5%, and a report that Japanese business sentiment dropped sharply in Q1. 2012. UK job numbers and Eurozone inflation data are set for release during today's Europe session.
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