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WireTap 1400 12/03/12

A round-up of the key stories across the specialist financial media, including news that newly issued Greek bonds are trading at distressed levels.

Greek bonds trade at distressed levels

Greece’s new bonds, issued after its €206bn debt exchange, started trading on Monday at distressed levels, indicating that investors fear another restructuring is probable.

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Banks buy treasuries at seven times 2011 pace

U.S. banks bought more government and related debt in the first two months of 2012 than they did in the entirety of last year, an endorsement of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assessment of the economy.

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Euro zone ministers to sign off Greek cash, grill Spain

Eurozone finance ministers are to sign off on a second bailout package for Greece and shift their focus to Spain, whose government looks set to violate newly-agreed EU budget rules by missing its deficit target again this year.

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China trade deficit hits Asian equities

Asian stocks were lower as data showing China posted a big trade deficit last month overshadowed strong US jobs numbers and a rebound in Japan’s machinery orders.

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Italy data confirm recession

Italy's economy fell into recession in the final three months of last year, contracting for the second consecutive quarter and strengthening analysts' views that the negative trend will continue in 2012.

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