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The Treasury Department revealed that it earned a $25 billion profit on the sale of mortgage bonds it purchased during the financial crisis, the largest return of any government program related to the crisis. Meanwhile, the euro zone’s current-account surplus jumped to €4.5B in Jan, its highest level since Mar 2007 and up from €3.4B in Dec as growth in exports was only slightly offset by an outflow of portfolio and direct investments. Elsewhere, the HSBC flash estimate of Chinese PMI declined to 48.1 in Mar from 49.7 a month earlier as fears grow about a hard landing for the Chinese economy as its growth rate slows.

 

 

 

 

Euro zone leaders have formally approved and signed off on Greece’s second bailout package worth €130.0B, in hopes of keeping the country funded and away from default until 2014. Additionally, 17 euro zone countries authorized the first installment of €39.4B to be disbursed. Meanwhile, Japan's core machinery orders rose 3.4% m/m in Jan, as rebuilding efforts in the country's tsunami disaster zones helped drive capital spending higher. The results came in above forecasts of a 1.6% increase.

 

 

The Labor Department announced the jobless rate remained at 8.3% in Feb, meeting economists' expectations as both hiring and the number of job seekers increased. Meanwhile, Greece received a strong response to its proposed €206 billion debt restructuring, but warned that it would invoke new legal powers to raise the participation rate from the 83.5% that it received this time to 95.7% in the future.

 

Q4 U.S. GDP growth was revised upward to a 3.0% annualized rate from earlier estimates of 2.8%, beating expectations. Meanwhile, Jan. personal income rose 0.3% while monthly personal spending rose 0.2%, both missing forecasts of 0.4% growth in each. 25 EU leaders agreed to a new fiscal pact further tightening limits on national debts and deficits as the continent’s debt crisis continues to cause difficulties for the economic union. The U.K. and the Czech Republic refrained from signing the new treaty.

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