Australian business conditions weakened sharply in December…. as sales, profits and employment all took a turn for the worse. A disappointing end of the year result that will only add to the concerns for 2019.
Meanwhile in the US, the stock futures lost ground following a torrid overnight session on Wall Street. The U.S. Justice Department charged China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd with fraud. This only raised more concerns over U.S.-Sino trade tensions, prompting investors to ditch risky assets.
With risk aversion high, the safe-haven yen gained some ground.
Elsewhere, British lawmakers will debate and vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s next steps on Brexit deal. Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, but the country’s members of parliament remain far from agreeing a divorce deal.