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Germany’s second economic miracle is ending

THE cognoscenti of international economics are once again agape, and not in a flattering way, at the budget surpluses Germany’s government keeps running, when instead it should be stimulating the economy with tax cuts and higher spending. The surplus revealed this week for 2019, at 13.5 billion euros (US$15bil), is the fifth in a row, and the biggest ever.

The Global Forex Market

The dollar appreciated 0.63% to 97.45 largely driven by resilient economic data which includes December’s The Institute of Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) coming in better than expected, accelerating to a four-month high of 55.0 from 53.9 in November (cons: 54.5) supported by higher production and inventories, and rising optimism over a potential trade resolution.

Saudi credit default swaps soar on U.S.-Iran crisis

DUBAI (Reuters) - The cost of insuring against a potential debt default by Saudi Arabia has soared by a sixth since Friday's killing by a U.S. drone of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, bearing the brunt of a broader reaction in Middle Eastern markets.