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Prospects Daily: European stocks slipped on Friday with the benchmark index falling to a three-week low

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Financial Markets…European stocks slipped on Friday with the benchmark index falling to a three-week low as early optimism on Spain’s new austerity measures was short-lived.

Spanish 10-year bond yield rose back above 6% amid uncertainty over its troubled banks before stress test results, fading optimism on the country’s debt cutting plan, and a looming Moody’s rating review which may cost the country its investment grade rating. 

South Africa's rand weakened against the dollar after Moody's cut the government's bond rating by one notch to Baa1 from A3, but bonds were supported by their imminent accession to Citi's World Government Bond Index (WGBI) on October 1.

High-income Economies…France’s government announced its 2013 budget that includes a package of tax hikes, including a 75% tax rate for people earning more than 1 mn euros, aimed at narrowing the deficit to 3.0% of GDP in 2013 from 4.5% this year.

Euro Area consumer price inflation accelerated to 2.7% (y/y) in September from 2.6% in August according to a Eurostat flash estimate, driven mainly by an increase in Spain’s inflation to 3.5% (y/y) from 2.7% in August after the government increased its value added tax (VAT) from 18% to 21%.

German retail sales edged up by 0.3% (m/m) in real terms in August (-0.8% y/y) after a 1% drop in July (-1.6% y/y), giving rise to hopes that private consumption will prop up the economy.

Canada's GDP rose 0.2%(m/m) in July (+1.9% y/y) compared to 0.1% (m/m) rise in June, as strength in manufacturing and utilities sectors offset weakness in crude oil extraction.

Japan’s industrial production fell 1.3% (m/m) in August as a slowdown in China and Europe weighed on exports, raising risks of a GDPcontraction this quarter.

South Korea’s industrial production fell 0.7% (m/m) percent, from weakness in trade partners and also due to a strike at Hyundai Motor Co.

Developing Economies…The Central Bank of Brazil increased its 2012 inflation forecast to 5.2% from 4.7%, while cutting only marginally its 2013 forecast to 4.9% from 5.0%.

Chile’s manufacturing output rose 6.8% (m/m) in August (3.6% y/y) as copper production rose by 11.3% from July. Retail sales growth accelerated to 11.3% (y/y) in August from 7.9% in July.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s central bank lowered its benchmark interest rate by 1.5 percentage points to 6%, citing macro-economic stability and inflation of close to 6% in August, lower than the targeted 9.9% for 2012.

The Central Bank of the Dominican Republic kept its monetary policy rate unchanged at 5.0% following interest rate cuts in June and August with a total reduction of 125 basis points this year.

Turkey's merchandise trade deficit declined significantly to US$5.86 bn in August from US$8.43 bn in August 2011 as goods export grew 14.5% (y/y) while imports declined 4.8% (y/y).

Thailand's industrial production index fell 11.3% (y/y) in August, declining for three consecutive months.

South African producer price inflation hit two year low level of 5.1% (y/y) in August, down from 5.4% in July.