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According to the latest Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey, the business confidence among the Asian companies remains near three-year lows amid US-China trade risks.

Key Findings:

“The Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index tracking firms’ six-month outlook was flat in the March quarter from the previous quarter’s 63, compared with a near three-year low of 58 set in the September quarter.

Antonio Fatas, a Singapore-based economics professor at global business school INSEAD, said of US-China talks on trade relations:  “Things have not gotten worse but a lot of uncertainty is putting companies in wait-and-see mode. “In one week, it looks like they are promising and the week after it looks like they are going nowhere, and so there’s a lot of wait-and-see attitude.”

A global trade war was cited as the chief business risk by respondents for the third quarter in a row, though by a smaller margin. Higher interest rates emerged as the second-biggest risk, outpacing a slowing Chinese economy.

A total of 100 companies from a range of sectors responded to the survey, conducted from March 1-15 in 11 Asia-Pacific countries.”