SINGAPORE (Dec 19): A very cautious optimism remains among Asian companies in the fourth quarter as they wait to see whether there will be any breakthrough in a trade dispute between the United States and China, a Thomson Reuters/INSEAD survey showed.

Representing the six-month outlook of 84 firms, the Thomson Reuters/INSEAD Asian Business Sentiment Index edged up to 63 in the October-December quarter, slightly above a near three-year low of 58 seen in the previous period.

Anything above 50 indicates a positive outlook. But the latest result still marks one of the lowest readings since a rout in Chinese stocks in mid-2015 rattled world markets.

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