Asian markets struggle, pound wallows at 20-month low

Hong Kong, Dec 11: Asian equities struggled again Tuesday despite a bounce in New York as investors fret over a perfect storm of issues that have hammered global markets, while the pound remained stuck around 20-year lows on Brexit uncertainty.

Bargain-buyers tried to step in after the latest sell-off but were unable to gain traction, with fears about the outlook for the global economy keeping sentiment beaten down.

The China-US trade row, signs of softness in both countries' economies, the Huawei arrest, Brexit, demonstrations in France and tanking oil prices are among the problems facing investors, and analysts warned of more volatility to come.

Adding to those problems is upheaval in India — another crucial economy — where the head of the central bank has resigned following a row with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration over alleged government interference.

Monday's development hammered the rupee, which was already Asia's worst-performing currency, and battered the Sensex stock market. Futures point to another sell-off when they reopen later in the day.

Global risk sentiment “is facing a towering wall of worry as virtually every major economy in the world is slowing, suggesting the synchronised global slowdown is accelerating at a much faster pace than thought,” said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA.

In early Asian trade Hong Kong was down 0.1 percent and Tokyo ended the morning 0.6 percent lower, with Singapore 0.2 percent off.

However, Shanghai, Sydney and Wellington each edged 0.2 percent higher, while Seoul gained 0.1 percent and Manila put on one percent.

(AFP/APP)

Posted on: 2018-12-11T09:15:00+05:00

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