Growth worries and trade tensions hamper markets

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Investors are increasingly concerned about a possible economic slowdown, shortly after the U.S., China and Japan all reported weaker-than-expected economic data.

It comes at a time when traders are also closely monitoring trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday that talks between the two sides must reach a successful end by March 1, following conflicting comments about whether a hard deadline had been agreed.

Global equity markets were already reeling on news that Canadian officials had arrested the CFO of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei for extradition to the U.S. The arrest has threatened to derail progress in U.S.-Sino trade talks.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares, excluding Japan, slipped 1.4 percent — falling to a near three-week low.

Back in Europe, market participants are likely to closely monitor U.K. trade balance figures for October at around 9:30 a.m. London time.

Meanwhile, investors are also set to closely monitor Brexit developments. Lawmakers in Britain are scheduled to vote on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal on Tuesday. A rejection of May’s divorce deal from the EU looks likely, raising fears of a chaotic exit from the bloc in March.

2018-12-10 07:01:00

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