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90 seconds at 9am: Housing activity to pick-up; China trade surge; South American troubles

90 seconds at 9am: Housing activity to pick-up; China trade surge; South American troubles
Watch video on our video page here. Watch video on YouTube here. Alex Tarrant presents the key news from this morning and the weekend in 90 seconds at 9am in association with BNZ. QV have released their final report on 2009 showing that house values rose 2.8% over the year. Values finished 2009 4.9% below their late 2007 peak, from 5.9% below the peak in November. For more on the QV figures see here. Chinese trade surged by more than expected in December, reducing the case for governments to sustain stimulus programs in 2010, Blomberg reports. Exports rose 17.7% in December from a year ago, their first rise in 14 months. Imports rose 55.9%. Moving to South America, firstly, in Venezuela, the government devalued the currency (announced during a major baseball game), meaning imports there will become more expensive, Reuters reported. Secondly, a row has erupted in Argentina over central bank independence after the president of the central bank, Martín Redrado, refused to transfer around US$6.6 billion of foreign reserves to Argentina's Bicentennial fund, set up to guarantee debt repayments. Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner called for Redrado's resignation, prompting opposition parties to slam the call as a move threatening the inderpendence of the central bank, IHS Global Insight reports.

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