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90 seconds at 9 am: IMF lowers world growth forecast on euro-zone weakness; UK to vote on EU membership; Congress ups debt limit; China worried about overheating; NZ$1 = US$0.841, TWI - 75.5
Forecasts in their latest World Economic Outlook are broadly unchanged, except for the euro area, which have been revised down, as has their forecasts for the UK.
It was announced overnight that Britian is going to vote on continuing its membership of the EU, something other EU members aren't happy about.
The US House of Representative has voted to extend their debt limit on a temporary basis, until Mid May following a Republican back-down.
Top American manufacturers are upbeat about their expectations for 2013 as fears fade after of the year-end "fiscal cliff" concerns. But we are about to get Apple's Q4 earnings soon, and that will set the tone for markets - earnings might fall but their view on their outlook is key.
In Japan, they are pushing back on the arguments that they have triggered a currency war. They point out that policy actions they are taking are only aimed at ending 'persistent deflation' and are only rolling back the unsustainable Yen levels that were encountered in 2012.
In China, officials are expressing concern about their economy overheating. They say pressures are coming from urbanisation and infrastructure construction.
In mid-day trade, the Dow is up and commodities are down, although the shifts are not extreme.
The New Zealand dollar starts today having crept marginally higher again overnight at 84.1 USc, 79.8 AUc, and the TWI is at 75.5.