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Global Trade Confidence Weathers Europe Debt Crisis, HSBC Says

Global trade confidence is so far weathering Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, according to a survey of businesses by HSBC Holdings Plc.

Some 71 percent of exporters, importers and traders expect shipment volumes to be unchanged or increase in the next six months, HSBC said in a statement today. The bank cited a survey of 5,800 enterprises in 20 countries from April 10 to June 1.

Cyprus said yesterday that it will seek a financial lifeline as the euro region’s leaders struggle to contain a crisis that has also undermined Spain’s banks. Asian stocks fell for a fourth day today after German Chancellor Angela Merkel hardened her resistance to euro-area debt sharing before European leaders meet this week.

“Despite the uncertain economic conditions, traders remain cautiously optimistic,” HSBC said.

The bank’s Trade Confidence Index was at 113 points, compared with 112 in the second half of 2011. In a change to the shape of global trade, China’s imports will start to grow more quickly than the nation’s exports within the next five years, HSBC said.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.4 percent as of 10:52 a.m. in Tokyo, headed for its longest losing streak in three weeks.

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