Sterling retreated on Thursday on fears that Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain's June 8 election, while the markets are also being kept on edge ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on the Paris climate change agreement. Kate King reports.
The UK prime minister said she wanted to meet the 'people' rather than squabbling with politicians. But her absence from Britain's televised election debate saw social media fire-up, the currency go down And the markets start to worry. SOUNDBITE (English) NEIL WILSON, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, ETX CAPITAL, SAYING: "As we see the Conservative campaign falter and labour coming up up in the polls and that opens up the risk that we end up with a hung parliament that we, Theresa Mays leadership gets called into question, all these things that markets don't really like. " Sterling retreated by point 1 percent on Thursday with the prospect of political turmoil Right before formal Brexit talks are due to begin Conflicting signals on the health of China's manufacturing sector kept most Asian stock markets in check Shares in the region fell as much as point 5 percent after a private survey contradicted earlier data that manufacturing growth remains steady Global markets bracing for a decision by U.S President Donald Trump on whether America will pull out of the Paris agreement on tackling climate change SOUNDBITE (English) NEIL WILSON, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, ETX CAPITAL, SAYING: "It's quite a salient point in terms of what the market is looking for I think really they're looking for those big things that we talked about a lot already. Tax reform infrastructure spending and deregulation." Trump has said the accord would cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars without tangible benefits but ditching it could also open a rift with allies - that money can't buy.