Trade hopes support China, sterling totters on Brexit woes

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Chinese shares pulled ahead on Tuesday after Beijing confirmed it was still in trade talks with the United States, though overall sentiment remained fragile in Asia as the pound wallowed near 20-month lows on over a Brexit deal.

FILE PHOTO: Pound Sterling notes and change are seen inside a cash register in a coffee shop in Manchester, Britain, September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

Indian stocks and the rupee currency were among the worst hit as the nation’s central bank governor resigned in a shock move that rattled investors. The country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was also trailing in vote count in three big heartland states in a setback for prime minister Narendra Modi.

The broader NSE share index tumbled 1.3 percent while the rupee dropped 1.5 percent and bonds sold off.

Adding to the gloom in markets, British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit agreement on Monday, a move that hit risk assets globally and sent the pound spiraling down to $1.2505.

Disappointing data from major economies including China and Japan have also fanned worries about corporate earnings and factory output, with the Sino-U.S. trade battle clouding the outlook for world growth.

These uncertainties have put the brakes on equities this year, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidding more than 16 percent after surging 33.5 percent in 2017.

“We see a slowdown in global growth and corporate earnings in 2019,” Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist for Blackrock wrote in an outlook report.

“The end game is

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