European shares opened lower Tuesday despite stronger than expected Germany trade data, signaling concerns over US' job market. Moreover, investors worried that Spain would be the next countries in the Eurozone that would need bailout. In the commodity sector, trading remained quiet with crude oil showing modest downside risks amid concerns on oversupply.
After speaking that the country is at 'extreme difficulty' in covering its minimum target at a debt auction on April 4, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy stepped up the deficit-consolidation measures and discussed an over 10B euro package reduction in spnding. The government forecast the country's public debt will increase to 79.8% of GDP this year.
Elsewhere in the 17-nation region, Germany's trade surplus surprisingly increased to 13.6B euro in February from 13.1B a month ago. The market had anticipated a drop to 12.0B euro. In China, trade in March also surprised to the upside. The country recorded a trade surplus of US$ 5.3B in March, following a deficit of US$31.5B a month ago. Yet, the surplus has not made the market more optimistic about China's economic outlook. Indeed, the opposite is true. The gain in trade was driven by the recovery in exports (growth at +8.9%) together with disappointing imports (growth at +5.3%). The report indicated that the downward trend in China's economy remains.
In Japan, the central bank announced to leave the policy rate unchanged in April, maintaining the uncollateralized overnight call rate at 0-0.1% unanimously. Stimulus of 30 trillion yen asset purchase fund and 35 trillion yen credit lending program remained unchanged .In the policy statement, the BOJ noted that 'overseas economies on the whole still have not emerged from a deceleration phase but US economic conditions have continued to improve moderately and the sluggish European economy has stopped deteriorating'. Domestically, the economy has shown some 'signs of picking up'. Meanwhile, the Japanese government has scheduled to hold meetings regarding resolution to fight again deflation late this month.