Shares Drop as Rally Eases; Pound Pares Losses: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks dropped and bonds rose Wednesday as the positive sentiment at the start of the week faded on continuing global growth concerns. The pound pared losses ahead of a further Brexit vote.

Shares slipped from Sydney to Shanghai and futures pointed lower in the U.S. and Europe. Treasuries steadied after yields dropped Tuesday in the wake of softer inflation data that bolstered bets the Federal Reserve will remain patient. Australia’s dollar slid with bond yields after weak consumer confidence data reinforced a deteriorating outlook for the economy. The dollar ticked higher and the yuan dipped.

“We’re pretty concerned about the direction of global growth partly because we can’t see who is going to come and save us this time,” Steve Diggle, chief executive officer and founder of Vulpes Investment Management Ltd., told Bloomberg TV in Singapore. “We are way ahead of the fundamentals after this bounce” in risk assets this year, he said.

Sterling is on the back foot again after U.K. lawmakers Tuesday rejected the government’s latest deal to leave the European Union, raising the prospect that the divorce will be delayed or even reversed. Parliament will now probably vote to postpone Brexit this week, and lawmakers — including some of May’s own Cabinet — will likely try to maneuver to force the government to rip up its Brexit plans and start again.

Alongside Brexit developments, investors have a slew of economic data to digest. The latest inflation reading came amid falling prices for autos and prescription drugs, adding to evidence the American economy is in no danger of overheating. In the coming days the focus will turn to Chinese production and retail sales, as well as a Bank of Japan policy decision.

Elsewhere, crude oil prices climbed after an industry report showed an unexpected drop in U.S. fuel supplies.

Here are some of the key events coming up:

And these are the main moves in markets: