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Rafael Nadal won his first title in nearly nine months after beating Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1 at the Argentina Open. Nadal's triumph was his first since he won a ninth French Open title at Roland Garros last June. It was Nadal's 65th career crown on all surfaces, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the Open Era all-time list led by the 109 titles of American Jimmy Connors. He broke out of a tie for fifth with Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras.
Activity in China's factory sector edged up to a seven-month high in February but export orders shrank and deflationary pressures persisted, a private business survey showed on Monday, underlying economic fragility that may need more policy support. China's central bank cut interest rates on Saturday, just days before the annual meeting of the country's parliament, in the latest effort to support the world's second-largest economy as its momentum slows. The new export orders sub-index dipped to 48.5 in February, the sharpest contraction in a year, while both input and output prices fell for a seventh month. "China's manufacturing sector saw an improvement in overall operating conditions in February, with companies registering the strongest expansion of output since last summer while total new business also rose at a faster rate," said Annabel Fiddes, an economist at Markit.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ramps up his mission to foil an emerging White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran with a speech on Monday to the powerful pro-Israel AIPAC lobby. Netanyahu has infuriated the White House and Democratic lawmakers by accepting an invitation by President Barack Obama's Republican foes to speak on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Also addressing the 16,000 AIPAC delegates are Washington's United Nations envoy Samantha Power and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who last week slammed Netanyahu's move to speak before a joint session of the US Congress without the blessing of the administration.