The International Monetary Fund has lowered the world economic growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 due to weakness in Europe and some emerging markets and said failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilize a slowing global economy.
China’s economic growth cooled slightly at 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, stoking fears about the impact of sluggish growth in the world’s second largest economy as Beijing grappled with the effects of the trade war with the US.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to lay out Plan B for Brexit to lawmakers as she looks to address parliament on how she plans to proceed with Brexit after her proposed deal was rejected by a majority of the UK parliament last week.
Oil prices edged lower, pausing after hitting an eight-week high after evidence that economic growth in China, the world’s second-largest crude consumer, eased in 2018. WTI crude prices have hit a low of $53.33.