BEFORE THE BELL: Poor Chinese economic data and lack of trade progress details weight global markets

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Analysts are expecting a subdued start to markets in North America this morning. The slowdown comes after China released a below forecast report on inflation, coupled with a vague update on negotiations between Beijing and Washington. The two sides met earlier this week to discuss easing trade tension, but a follow-up report gave few details on progress towards reaching this goal.

China also reported inflation dropped to 1.9 per cent in December, fueling more concerns about the country’s slowing economy.

In overnight trading, this pulled the Nikkei down 1.3 per cent before it closed at 20,163.

Economic concerns are also starting to hit crude prices once again, as US oil pulls back from a rally to 52.08 a barrel.

The energy-tied Loonie is down to 75.64 cents US.

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