By Research Team, 0900 GMT: PMIs out of Europe have been very weak on the whole. The all-inclusive Euro-area PMI composite indicator came in at 48.7 versus the 49.6 predicted by economists. Eurozone PMI manufacturing was 47.7 versus the expected 49.5, and the services sector index came in at 48.7 versus the expected 49.2. A reading below 50 indicates market contraction. European powerhouses Germany and France both saw significantly weaker than expected numbers, with the German manufacturing index falling to 48.1 from February’s 50.2. French numbers were similarly risk-negative. Following the release, EU's Barroso said the financial crisis is far from over. 0700 GMT: Swiss trade balance for February has come in at 2.68bln CHF versus the expected 1.80B. The previous fiure was revised to down to 1.5B. Exports rose in February, while imports fell. 0645 GMT: A weaker reading on China's HSBC PMI released overnight has been throwing a damper on risk sentiment in today's European trade. Higher yielding currencies like Aussie and Kiwi have been bearing the downside brunt. A higher than expected Q4 GDP reading out of New Zealand has taken some of the pressure off. Look for European PMIs (services and manufacturing) in to be the main data releases today's session.
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