MORNING BID-Markets defy COVID blues

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China is retaining its strict coronavirus curbs, COVID-19 cases are at a 6-month high and Apple warned of a hit to iPhone shipments, but Asian equities are still chugging along. Elsewhere, The Guardian reported that British Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt is set to outline up to 60 billion pounds of tax rises and spending cuts next week, including at least 35 billion pounds ($39.56 billion) in cuts in the backdrop of the Bank of England's recession warning. In Asia, even with data showing an unexpected contraction in China's exports and imports last month, the mood remains upbeat for stock bulls on Monday as they still buy into the China loosening story.

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