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U.K./IRISH DAYBOOK: U.K. Consumer Confidence Declines in March

U.K. consumer confidence unexpectedly fell this month as households braced for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s budget, when he pledged to maintain his austerity push, GfK NOP Ltd. said. Songbird Estates, Allied Irish Banks, Qinetiq, Tate & Lyle are among the companies scheduled to release earnings today.

WHAT TO WATCH: -- Ofcom says it is taking advice on allocating more spectrum for superfast wireless broadband over the next 10 years in reponse to increasing demand for digital services and mobile data, the FT reported. -- Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that sidestepping a 3.1 billion-euro cash payment to former Anglo Irish Bank Corp. will take pressure off the country as it returns to the debt markets.

ON THE FRONT PAGES: -- Setback for U.K. Nuclear Plans: Financial Times -- A Fuel Crisis Made in Downing Street: Times -- Ministers Blamed for Fuel Shambles as Panic Grows: Telegraph -- As Petrol Pumps Run Dry, the Blame Game Begins: Guardian -- New Pesticides Linked to Bee Population Collapse: Independent

EARNINGS (Estimates when available, all times local): -- Songbird Estates (SBD LN) 7 a.m., FY adj. EPS GBP0.02 -- Allied Irish Banks (ALBK ID) 7 a.m., FY -- Qinetiq (QQ/ LN) 7 a.m., trading statement -- Electrocomponents (ECM LN) 7 a.m., 4Q sales, trading statement -- Tate & Lyle (TAT LN) 7 a.m., 4Q sales, trading statement

ECONOMIC DATA: -- 00:01 a.m.: U.K. GfK Consumer Confidence Survey; est. -29 (prior -29)

CENTRAL BANKS: -- Nothing scheduled

BOND AUCTIONS/PURCHASES: -- 12:10 p.m.: U.K. to Sell GBP2 Bln 28-Day Bills, GBP1.5 Bln 91-Day Bills, GBP1.5 Bln 182-Day Bills

GOVERNMENT: -- 12:30 p.m.: EU-27 Finance Ministers, Central Bankers Meet in Denmark

CORPORATE EVENTS: -- Nothing scheduled

-- EUR/USD: 1.3349

TV HIGHLIGHTS: Selected Bloomberg TV guests -- 6:20 a.m.: Richard Koo, Nomura Research, chief economist -- 6:30 a.m.: Lawrence Hatheway, UBS, chief economist -- 7:15 a.m.: Jim O’Neill, Goldman Sachs Asset Mgmt, chairman -- 7:40 a.m.: Juergen Stark, ECB, former exec-board member -- 9:10 a.m.: Gilles Moec, Deutsche Bank, co-chief Euro equities -- 10 a.m.: Bill O’Neill, Merrill Lynch, CIO -- 4:20 p.m.: Charles Newsome, Williams de Broe, investment director

Chris Peterson in London at

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