The major Asia Pacific stock indexes finished mixed on Wednesday as investors expressed some concerns over the risks of a no-deal Brexit. A mixed message about the U.S.-China trade deal may have also weighed on prices. Japan was the biggest loser with the benchmark Nikkei 225 Index dropping 0.55% in reaction to weak export data.
On Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23934.43, down 131.69 or -0.55%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 27884.21, up 40.50 or +0.15% and South Korea’s KOSPI closed at 2194.76, down 0.92 or -0.04%.
In China, the Shanghai Composite Index settled at 3017.04, down 5.38 or -0.18% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 finished at 6851.40, up 4.10 or +0.06%.
Escalated Brexit Risks
Brexit risks flared amid reports on Tuesday that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will amend the Brexit bill, explicitly ruling out any extension to the transition period beyond December 2020. The U.K. is due to leave the European Union by January 31.
That would leave little time to reach a trade deal with the EU, raising the risks of a no-deal Brexit.
Investors Want Trade Agreement Details
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday said details of Chinese purchases across U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, energy and service sectors in the “Phase One” deal would be detailed in writing, but gave no further details about when the written agreement would be released.
It’s also being reported that Washington is set to implement five rules to limit exports of sophisticated technology to adversaries like China.
Japanese Economy: Risk of Fourth-Quarter Contraction Rise
Japan’s exports slipped for a 12th straight month in November, as declining shipments to the United States and China hit the trade-reliant economy, raising the risk of a fourth-quarter contraction.
Official data released on Wednesday showed Japan’s exports fell 7.9% year-on-year in November, a smaller decline than the 8.6% decline expected by economists in a Reuters poll.
The gloomy reading, driven by fewer shipments of cars and construction machinery to the United States and chemical products to China, marked the longest run of declines in exports since a 14-month stretch to November 2016.
Australian Shares End Lower as Miners, Banks Weigh on Performance
Australian shares closed little changed on Wednesday as gains in healthcare and energy stocks offset weakness in financials and miners.
Some optimism from overnight strength on Wall Street also trickled through after the major U.S. stock indices held near record highs as strong housing and manufacturing data bolstered expectations of an improvement in global growth.
This article was originally posted on FX Empire
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