BEFORE THE BELL: Trade negotiations, Brexit and Venezuela-US tension main focuses for investors today

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Slowing progress on trade and Brexit is weighting on investors’ minds this morning. Experts say many investors are taking a wait-and-see approach as major economic threats hang in the balance. This was reflected in Asian markets as the Nikkei slipped slightly by .09 per cent to close at 20,574 in overnight trading.

Analysts are also watching for investor reaction today after a White House official suggested the lengthy government shut down could start impacting the US economy if it drags out any longer.

Chinese officials are expected to meet with US counterparts next week to continue trade negotiations, but reports suggest there’s still a long way to go before the two sides reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions in Venezuela could impact crude markets as Donald Trump has threatened political action against the current President Nicolas Maduro unless he gives up his leadership. The price of US crude is slipping to 52.27 a barrel.

The energy-tied Loonie is down to 74.85 cents US.

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