Here's my summary of the key news overnight in 90 seconds at 9 am, including news that Europe is in the headlines again.
There was some relief for Cyprus today as German MPs approved the €10 bln of EU/IMF loan package to the Cypriot government, giving the green light for the plan agreed last month. The Bundestag confirmed the mood by also agreeing to an extra seven years for Ireland to repay its bailout.
Meanwhile, France has put the brakes on austerity. It said it would ask its EU partners and the European Commission for an extra year to cut its public deficit below a targeted 3% of GDP. They are still a long way above that. They have brought their deficit down from 5.2% at the end of 2011 to 4.5% in 2012, but the EU wants a French 2013 deficit of 3.7% of GDP. Germany will be grumpy.
Staying in France, IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been summoned to appear in court in May over an inquiry into alleged abuse of authority when she was the French finance minister.
Meanwhile Dutch unemployment has jumped in March to 8.1% from 7.7%. The problems in Europe are not just in the south.
Better news in Japan: their exports rose and their trade deficit narrowed in March.
And in China, home price averages in key Chinese cities were higher in March, indicating recent government efforts to control the unruly real-estate market are having little effect.
From Australia, we are hearing that their trade talks with China have stalled. The problem is Beijing wants its state-backed companies the right to buy Australian assets up to $1 billion without regulatory scrutiny. Hard-ball negotiating by China.
In New York, stocks are lower in mid-day trade with the Dow down another 0.8%. Precious metals are slightly higher but industrial metals are lower again. Oil is unchanged in overnight trade.
The Kiwi dollar starts today lower at 84.1 USc, 81.7 AUc, and our TWI is at 77.6.