Shares slumped in Hong Kong, Japan, China and Korea, and futures on the S&P 500 Index fell. Weak Chinese factory prices highlighted the tough environment for industrial profitability, and dovetailed with other disappointing economic data from major economies in recent days, including the worst drop in US retail sales in nine years. Ten-year Treasury yields slumped after the poor American consumption figure, to 2.65%.
Trade tensions between the US and China continue to weigh on sentiment, with the two sides reported to be far apart on reform demands as high-level talks continue in Beijing. The lack of progress comes as Trump reportedly considers delaying the March 1 tariff by 60 days, and it may put pressure on him and China President Xi Jinping to seal the deal at a yet-to-be scheduled summit.
Elsewhere, oil edged higher on optimism about global supply cuts. The British pound held losses as Prime Minister Theresa May lost another round of Brexit voting in Parliament.