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    MORNING BELL: Australia, New Zealand business confidence

    Down Under, the latest NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion showed the New Zealand economy heading into 2015 in good shape. While the softening in activity indicators suggests a moderation in growth in the March 2015 quarter, annual growth is still expected to be respectable at just over 3% and business confidence remains steady at 20%. Meanwhile, Australian business sentiment and conditions appear to have picked up in March, according to the latest monthly National Australia Bank survey, announced earlier today.

    Singapore's CB on Tuesday surprised markets by keeping monetary policy settings unchanged, saying growth was evolving in line with expectations and that cost pressures could eventually pick up due to a tight labour market. An advance estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product released on Tuesday showed that Singapore's economy grew 1.1% from January-March from the previous three months, above market expectations for 0.5% growth. The Japanese yen hovered just below a 2-year peak against the euro early on Tuesday and was broadly firmer versus other major currencies as investors shed bearish positions overnight. The yen's rebound also came after the Bank of Japan on Monday signaled that the benefits of its stimulus program was broadening, dampening speculation of more easing in the near term.

    Singapore's CB on Tuesday surprised markets by keeping monetary policy settings unchanged, saying growth was evolving in line with expectations and that cost pressures could eventually pick up due to a tight labour market. An advance estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product released on Tuesday showed that Singapore's economy grew 1.1% from January-March from the previous three months, above market expectations for 0.5% growth. The Japanese yen hovered just below a 2-year peak against the euro early on Tuesday and was broadly firmer versus other major currencies as investors shed bearish positions overnight. The yen's rebound also came after the Bank of Japan on Monday signaled that the benefits of its stimulus program was broadening, dampening speculation of more easing in the near term.

     

      


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