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Exchanges were relatively quiet in the last trading day of April, as the market digested disappointing news from the U.S. and mixed news around the world, including an improvement in the Taiwanese economy but underwhelming news regarding Chinese exports.

[caption align="alignright" caption="Taipei's 101 Building, towering above the capital of Taiwan"] Image courtesy Chris: http://www.flickr.com/people/63138333@N00/ [/caption]

Rob Minto looks into some positive news from the Taiwanese economy in The Financial Times' beyondbrics blog

The Taiwanese economy ( EWT , quote ) exited recession in the first quarter of 2012 after six months of contraction. The article emphasizes the major role of exports in the Taiwanese economy which could face trouble in the event of a global slowdown. However, as the Taiwanese economy is tied to the smartphone boom , any significant pull back in the Taiwanese ETF may be considered a buying opportunity.

Kenneth Rapoza discusses Chinese exports in the Forbes' BRIC Breakers blog

As more and more countries in the euro zone edge towards recession, Chinese exporters are starting to feel the brunt of this contraction. The euro zone is China's largest trading partner so any major slow down in the Old World will naturally affect growth in China's economy ( FXI , quote ). According to Kenneth Rapoza, the Ministry of Commerce implied that "China's trade will continue to grow at a slower pace this quarter." Traders should keep their eye on export numbers as more drops in exports could further impact export-oriented Chinese stocks adversely.

Xan Rice talks about the risk-reward of investing in Nigeria in The Financial Times' beyondbrics blog

In light of recent terrorist attacks in northern Nigeria by anti-Western movement Boko Haram, foreign observers are re-evaluating the prospects of investing in Africa's largest country. The north-south divide in Nigeria has long afflicted the country's political and economic well-being. As suicide bombs have increased in frequency as the result of Boko Haram's uprising, foreign firms are having trouble bringing in workers to the capital Abuja over safety concerns. If Nigeria wishes to fulfill its potential, not only does it have to work on stamping out corruption, but squashing Boko Haram as well. Until then, multinationals may prefer to gain a foothold in Africa through safer, less corrupt countries like Ghana.

Reuters discusses the evacuation of the Transocean rig off of Rio de Janeiro

Transocean ( RIG , quote ) was forced to evacuate one of its rigs off the coast of Rio de Janeiro after a leak caused the rig to start listing by three degrees. This comes in the wake of intense scrutiny after Transocean, along with Chevron ( CVX , quote ) were blamed for an oil spill off the coast of Brazil last November. While no one was hurt and no oil has apparently been spilled, the negative publicity will not help Transocean's somewhat tainted image in Brazil.

Indian expert D. H. Pai Panandiker chimes in on the recent ratings warning of the country in Reuters

As India reels from the recent threat by S&P to downgrade the country's credit rating, observers are wondering how India ( EPI , quote ) will get out of this mess. Panandiker seems particularly concerned with problems within the government that are stifling growth within the country. The country has seen its growth rate decrease as a result of this inefficiency. Investors in India ( INDY , quote ) must be cognizant of the political problems plaguing the country's economy before jumping into a trade.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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