GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS BOTTOMLINE: The new set of US-China trade negotiations resume in Beijing this week, ahead of the Mar 1 deadline when US tariffs on USD 200bn worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25% from 10%. The associated economic policy uncertainty has led to many dismal data releases across nations and has also seen central banks take a step back from tightening monetary policy. Data from Germany continued to disappoint, and the European Commission lowered its growth forecast for this year to 1.3% from 1.9%, also predicting the weakest expansion in Italy for five years. The Brexit saga continues with S&P warning about downgrades for some British companies in a no-deal Brexit – and possibly even lowering the UK’s credit rating.

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