British Prime Minister May survived a no-confidence Brexit vote

Asian equity markets surged on signs of easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions and expectations that China will step up efforts soon to support its cooling economy. Markets are slowly growing less pessimistic about the chances of a Sino-U.S. trade deal after a slew of news this week pointed to easing tensions between the two powers.

In Britain, lawmakers from the ruling Conservatives held a secret ballot on whether they had confidence in May’s leadership of the party. Going into the vote and needing backing for her efforts to deliver Brexit, May had assured them that she would not lead the party into the next election due in 2022.She won support from 200 of 317 Conservative lawmakers, and the mutiny by more than a third signalled that she was no closer to getting parliament’s approval for her plan to leave the European Union, making it likely that sterling’s respite would prove temporary.

In the currency market, sterling gave up some gains after rallying from a 20-month low after May survived a party no-confidence vote. It was last trading down 0.04 percent at $1.2624. EURUSD was also higher, up 0.04 percent at $1.1375 after Italy’s government offered to lower its deficit target next year to 2.04 percent of gross domestic product, below the 2.4 percent level that the European Commission had rejected as too high.

In commodity markets Oil prices gained, after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles. U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.2 million barrels in the week to Dec. 7, the EIA reported. However, the decline was less than expected, as markets previously forecasted a decrease of 3 million barrels. U.S. crude rose 0.6 percent to $51.46 a barrel as trade tensions eased, and Brent crude futures gained 0.7 percent to $60.56 per barrel.