US working report; China's export decline; Trade war intel

Economists asked for Refinitive forecast that employers added another 185,000 jobs during the month. They expect unemployment to fall to 3.9%.

It would have been the weakest workforce since September last year – and possibly the beginning of an expected moderation in the growth rate.

Analysts were already worried about the slowdown before the January report, but employment growth ended up being surprisingly strong.

2. China exports decline: Chinese stocks fell sharply after government data showed that the country's major export industry had its worst month in three years.

Exports fell 21% in February from the year before, a decline attributed to weaker global demand for Chinese goods and the country's trade war with the United States.

The data was far worse than the economists had predicted. Shanghai Composite dropped 4.4%, while tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite fell 3.8%.

The value of goods shipped to the United States fell much more strongly than for other major markets.

"This suggests that US tariffs have become a more meaningful move on exports," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior Chinese economics economist.

Another worrying news came from the US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, who told the Wall Street Journal that a date has not yet been set to resolve the trade conflict.

"Both parties agree that there must be considerable progress, which means a feeling that they are very close before it happens," said the Branstad newspaper. "We are not there yet. But we are closer than we have been for a very long time."

3. Global market overview: US stock price futures pointed lower.
The European market fell open after a downbeat increase in Asia.
Dow Jones industrial average and S & P 500 closed 0.8% lower on Thursday. Nasdaq fell 1[ads1].1%.
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4. Businesses and Economics: Stocks of Commerzbank ( CRZBF ) and Deutsche Bank ( DB ) fleetingly after German magazine Focus reported that the CEOs of both banks have resumed intensive discussions in recent days about a potential merger. Commerzbank shares reached as much as 1% in early trading before they plunged into negative territory. Deutsche Bank's share was down to almost 1%.

Deutsche Bank refused to comment. Commerzbank did not respond to questions from CNN Business.

German factory orders fell 2.6% in January compared to last month, the last evidence of a major decline in the eurozone's largest economy.

"German production goes through a recession," said Florian Hense, economist at Berenberg. "It will take some relief from trading tensions, better news out of China and an end to the tough Brexit risk of stopping the downturn," he added.

5. Coming this week:
Friday – US working report

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