Israelis are going to the polls with the last opinion polls suggesting momentum had shifted to opposition Zionist Union after weeks of running neck-and-neck with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud.
Russia’s central bank meets having unexpectedly cut its key policy rate in January by 200 basis points to 15 percent, raising a question mark over its independence from political pressure, given inflation rose to a 13-year high of 16.7 percent in February.
The International Monetary Fund surprised on the upside with its programme for Ukraine last night, agreeing $17.5 billion in loans as expected but agreeing to pump $10 billion of that into the near bankrupt country over the next year and handing over $5 billion imminently.
An economic trend, like a battle plan, often doesn’t survive the first engagement. Data from euro zone countries has generally surprised on the upside since the turn of the year with Germany leading the way. German growth was robust in Q4, with domestic demand to the fore.
Germany’s parliament will vote today on the extension of Greece’s bailout by four months and will duly back it though we can expect some grumbling from a clutch of lawmakers.