# Political turmoil continued to weigh on European equity markets, with the EuroStoxx600 falling a sharp 1.7%. Clearly the market is fearful of the risks should the EU-IMF forced austerity programs in France and Greece be rejected by the new governments.
# U.S. equity markets fell a smaller 0.5%, with the Dow conceding its fifth straight daily decline.
# The glow surrounding the news Spain is preparing public monies for bank bailouts faded abruptly with the market having a quick rethink, and as a result, 10-year Spanish government bond yields headed back up towards 6%.
# Global commodity prices also continued to slide – the CRB index fell 0.7% overnight, to be down a sizeable 4.2% for the month to date. The broad basket of NZ commodity prices is down 15-17% from their 2011 highs with dairy the biggest component, down a whopping 35%.
# Oil prices fell for a fifth straight session, marking the largest five-day decline since October.
# Gold finally succumbed to recent USD strength, briefly dropping below US$1600 for the first time in 4 months.
# German industrial production figures were solid, coming in well over market expectations at 2.8%m/m vs. 0.8% expected.
# Australia delivered a budget of massive govt. spending contraction, the biggest in 40 years. The government has pledged a surplus of $1.5bln by June 2013 from a starting point of $44bln deficit. Whilst reaction has been muted so far the move does represent a significant handbrake on the economy going forward.
# REINZ NZ House Prices
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