Only Good News from the US:

Existing home sales US existing home sales picked up unexpectedly in January, but the previous figures were downwardly revised.

Initial jobless claims US initial jobless claims stayed unchanged in the week ending February the 18th, while the consensus was looking for an increase.

University of Michigan consumer confidence The final figure of Michigan consumer confidence for February showed a strong upward, revision from 72.5 to 75.3, while only a minor one was expected.

New home sales After increasing for four consecutive months, US new home sales dropped at the start of 2012.

Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke testified before the Senate, this week, the markets found his comments a bit dovish and drew conclusions that any additional QA was off the table for the time being. Although the Chairman warned that the economy was recovering, he stated it was fragile and he was still worried about jobs. Gold soared on his comments.

width=150News from the Eurozone

This week starts off with an agreement on the Greek bailout and approval from the EU, ECB and IMF. Greece passes a major hurdle and now needs to complete their agreement with the IIF.

There are worries about the CDS swaps triggering a credit event, at first, the initial ruling ruled that there would be no credit event, but it turns out that ruling was on a very small question concerning the ECB, it seems now that now that Greece has passed the new laws so they can force bondholders to accept the agreement, it will now trigger a credit event and CDS insurance will have to payout.

The ECB, liquidity operation, although successful, loans funds to over 800 banks, in excess of 500 billion euros. Markets are now worried about the consequences.

Spain reported that they will miss their budget deficit target this year, but still remain on track for 2013.

The EU approved the next tranche for Portugal.

The G20 meeting in Mexico ended without any results with non euro nations saying that the eurozone needs to pick up their game and show their money before any others would consider participating.

The EU Summit this past week went off quietly without much in the way of announcements.

Consumer confidence European Commission's consumer confidence improved for a second straight month in February. Consumer confidence rose from -20.7 to -20.2, marginally weaker than expected (-20.1).

Industrial new orders  Euro zone industrial new orders rebounded by 1.9% M/M in December, while only a moderate pick up was expected.

IFO business climate indicator The German IFO index rose for a fourth consecutive month in February. The indicator jumped from 108.3 to 109.6, while a more moderate increase was expected.

Manufacturing PMI Euro zone manufacturing PMI extended its rebound in February, rising for a third consecutive month, but at a slower pace. Services PMI After three consecutive increases, euro zone services PMI fell back in February, from 50.4 to 49.4, while a slight increase was expected.

In January, the euro zone unemployment rate rose unexpectedly. The unemployment rate jumped from an upwardly revised 10.6% (earlier reported as 10.4%) to 10.7%, while the consensus was looking for stabilization at 10.4%. Eurostat estimates that the number of people unemployed rose by 185 000 in the euro area in January, to a total level of 16.925 million. The highest unemployment rates were observed in the Spain (23.3%), Greece (19.9% in November), Ireland and Portugal (both 14.8%). The youth unemployment rate (under 25) was 21.6% in the euro zone. The euro zone unemployment rate is now at the highest level since October 1997 and is just 0.2% below its all time high, suggesting that a jump above the all-time highs is not excluded in the coming months.

width=150News from the Far East

In Australia Prime Minister Gillard won her battle against ex Prime Minister Rudd, who is now retiring from public life.

China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.0 from 50.5 in January.

China also signaled this week that they are considering offering assistance to the EU and the EFSF.

Japan's unemployment rate inched up to 4.6 per cent in January from a revised 4.5 per cent in the previous month, the government said on Friday. The figure was roughly in line with economists' forecasts.

The ministry also said January household spending fell by an inflation-adjusted 2.3 per cent year-on-year. The fall was bigger than a 0.8 per cent drop economists had expected.

Japan refrained from selling yen in the foreign-exchange market last month, according to the Finance Ministry.

The nation didn't sell any of its currency from Jan. 30 to Feb. 27, the ministry's month-end data posted on its website shows. The yen last week tumbled to an almost nine-month low against the dollar after the Bank of Japan on Feb. 14 unexpectedly added ¥10 trillion to an asset-purchase program and set an inflation goal of 1 percent.