QUICK READS

Oil near $100 level as Mideast tensions grow Worries about important supply routes drive prices higher (Chart from FT)

Jordanians march for political reform Demand for unpopular prime minister to be replaced

US GDP growth

This morning’s release of Q4 GDP officially put the deepest recession since WWII in the rear-view mirror. After eleven straight quarters below peak levels, chain weighted GDP finally dug itself out of the hole and hit new all-time highs. (Bespoke Investment)

Euro climbs amid prospect of imminent ECB rate rise Single currency at two-month high against dollar

Chinese Bank Targets Germany China Development Bank is among the finalists to buy a large stake in Germany’s WestLB, a development that underscores Chinese banks’ appetite for Western expansion.

Yuan trade barriers coming down Zhou Xiaochuan, China’s central bank governor, pledged to remove domestic policy barriers to promote the yuan’s use in cross-border trade settlements and outward investments by Chinese enterprises.

Commercial banks’ bad loans fall in 2010 China’s banking watchdog said Wednesday Chinese domestic commercial banks’ balance of non-performing loans (NPL) decreased 14 percent through 2010 to stand at 429.3 billion yuan ($65.17 billion) at year-end.

Housing Woes Fuel Apartment Surge Falling home prices and lethargic sales have been bad news for homeowners, but a boost for apartment-building landlords. As millions of families switch from being homeowners to renters, apartment-building values have soared.

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