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Will the UK enter a Triple-Dip Recession?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases its preliminary UK GDP estimate for the first Quarter of 2013 at 9:30am (BST). Economists are expecting a marginally positive print of 0.1%, however a contraction would show that the UK economy has gone back into a recession for a third time since the credit crunch in 2008. A “triple-dip” recession could lead rating agency S&P to downgrade the UK’s credit rating from its top notch of AAA, on the 5th April S&P said“..it may downgrade the UK from the highest rating in the future if economic conditions worsened." This would follow rating agency Fitch’s downgrade on Friday the 19th, adding pressure to the Chancellor, George Osborne to change to the so-called “Plan B.” Since the European session cable has traded down to the 1.53 level, with the pair likely to move lower if there is a negative GDP print.

Headlines

South Korea’s central bank chief said on Wednesday that authorities were keeping a close eye on the effects from the yen’s slide, saying the weakness would likely persist for a long time - SCMP

Chinese regulators are investigating certain bond-trading activities that could amplify risks in one of the world's fastest-rising debt markets, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter, after a recent string of arrests of traders and other fixed-income personnel at Chinese financial institutions - WSJ

Bank of Japan’s Kuroda: Keep 2% price target even if markets move sharply - MNI

Central banks bought the most gold since 1964 last year just before the collapse in prices into a bear market underscored investors’ weakening faith in the world’s traditional store of value - Bloomberg

The head of the German central bank or Bundesbank has warned that a planned European financial transactions tax could have unexpected negative implications for monetary policy - AFB

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