SCOREBOARD: European tranquiliser

Soothing sounds from Germany and France lulled markets into a modest rebound.

The German finance minister added that all ideas would be looked at in order to boost sustainable growth. I mean, there is nothing wrong with the German economy but he was probably thinking more along the lines of infrastructure development aid to less developed European economies. So for instance the EU overnight announced an acceleration in infrastructure development aid to Spain – about €1 billion. As if on cue, European construction orders out last night showed a 12 per cent surge in March (although that was after a 10 per cent fall) and investors must have relaxed a bit as well, because France sold off €8.9 billion of 3-month and 12-month bills at lower yields than in April – 0.07 per cent to 0.168 per cent.

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