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Pound edges up after Brexit delay but Asian markets retreat

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

The pound edged up Thursday in after Britain and its EU partners agreed to once again extend the deadline for Brexit, days before the cut-off for avoiding an economically calamitous no-deal divorce.

After hours of late-night talks was given until the end of October to pass her deal for leaving the bloc through parliament, having failed three times already.

The extension allows for an earlier exit if May achieves it, with a review taking place on June 21.

of the delay allowed traders to breathe a sigh of relief and the pound edged up against the dollar and euro, though the gains were limited with the agreement merely kicking the can down the road.

And there remains much uncertainty, with the under intense pressure from hardline supporters in her not to compromise in her talks with the opposition Labour party, and the discussions are moving slowly.

Asian equity markets fell, with few catalysts to drive buying and investors still on edge over a brewing trade battle between the and

threats this week to hammer $11 billion worth of EU goods with tariffs jolted markets, which have been rallying this year on optimism that and the US were close to ending their own battle.

The warning revived concerns about Donald Trump's protectionist agenda that has taken aim at all US trading partners.

In early trade Hong Kong was down 0.6 percent and shed 0.4 percent while went into the break 0.3 percent lower.

fell 0.5 percent, and were each 0.1 percent lower, while and shed 0.4 percent apiece. added 0.5 percent and Wellington rose 0.6 percent.

Regional investors were also unmoved by the latest central

The Federal Reserve released minutes of its March meeting that reinforced expectations that it will not lift interest rates this year as it keeps an eye on the US economy and brewing risks abroad.

"I think this confirms the message that we got from the March meeting," James McCann, at Aberdeen Standard Investments, told

"This is a Fed that's pretty happy to just sit on its hands for the time being and stay on hold and see how some of these cross currents play out."

- Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 21,627.87 (break) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 29,950.14 - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,228.43 Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3097 from $1.3091 at 2040 GMT Euro/pound: UP at 86.11 pence from 86.09 pence Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1278 from $1.1272 Dollar/yen: UP at 111.08 yen from 111.00 yen Oil - Intermediate: DOWN 20 cents at $64.41 per barrel Oil - Brent Crude: DOWN eight cents at $71.65 per barrel - Dow: UP less than 0.1 percent at 26,157.16 (close) - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,421.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 08:25 IST