German exports recovered smartly in February, growing 1.5% on month after falling 2.1% in January and beating consensus of +1%. Imports increased 1.8% following a decline of 0.2% and the trade surplus rose to €19.7B from €19.6B. Meanwhile, industrial production increased 0.2% on month, as expected, after slipping 0.4%. The figures come after data yesterday showed that factory output weakened in February, although PMI readings in March were strong.
Meanwhile,European stocks were higher at the time of writing following the positive German data and yesterday's release of the FOMC minutes, which provided little clarity on when the Fed might hike rates but were deemed sufficiently dovish. Reports about Greece's €450M repayment to the IMF has also added to the positive sentiment. In Asia, Hong Kong stocks had another banner day as investors looked to exploit cheap prices in relation to the mainland.