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Markets too bearish given robust economy, says UBS's Weber

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That's according to UBS Group AG chairman Axel Weber, who says the rout on global markets is overshadowing a still relatively good performance for economic growth and for trade.

[HONG KONG] The sense of pessimism that's marked the beginning of 2019 is overdone.

That's according to UBS Group AG chairman Axel Weber, who says the rout on global markets is overshadowing a still relatively good performance for economic growth and for trade.

"The market in my view is taking too bearish a view on the economy," Mr Weber, a former European Central Bank policy maker, told Bloomberg Television. "There's less of an upswing than we might have seen last year but we still have a relatively good global economy and we still have a relatively good performance on trade."

While Mr Weber said it's likely that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of interest rate increases in 2019 amid signs of a fading impact from tax cuts, he also said it's too soon to be talking about a US recession.

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"We are still facing a very favourable outlook, both for corporate earnings and for growth, so I think the market is running a bit ahead of itself in starting to price in a recession."

The UBS chairman said he's hopeful that negotiations between the US and China to resolve their ongoing trade war will reach a resolution, describing planned talks this week in Beijing as a very positive signal.

Still, it may take time before a final agreement can be worked out, he said.

"Very often these agreements are never done early on, they are always done in the last leg of those negotiations," Mr Weber said.

BLOOMBERG