Most markets in Asia ended lower on Wednesday, amid fresh uncertainties over just what kind of Brexit the UK would end up having to deal with.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.99% at 21,290.24, as the yen remained unchanged against the dollar, last trading at JPY 111.36.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.09% to 3,026.95, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite slid 2.32% to 1,656.54.

South Korea's Kospi was off 0.41% at 2,148.41, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong slipped 0.39% to 28,807.45.

Brexit was very much at the top of the agenda for most traders, after Theresa May's withdrawal deal was defeated in the House of Commons on Tuesday night by 149 votes.

There were still two more votes to come on the matter this week – one on whether the UK should leave the European Union without a deal, and another on whether to delay the current departure date from 29 March.

“Tomorrow the House will vote on whether to leave the European Union without any agreement,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia senior currency strategist Joseph Capurso.

“It is important to note a majority of MP's are against a hard Brexit,” he added, claiming that if the house did vote for a hard Brexit, sterling could lose between four and eight percent of its value.

Oil prices were higher as the region went to bed, after a session of stubborn weakness, with Brent crude last up 0.63% at $67.09 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate moving ahead 1.47% to $57.72.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 weakened 0.22% to 6,161.20, with the energy subindex once again on the back foot, falling 0.88% amid ongoing weakness in crude prices.

Fresh data from the sunburnt country suggested consumers were still not keen on economy in March, with a report from Westpac and the Melbourne Institute claiming sentiment among the group was at its lowest in 18 months.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was off 0.1% at 9,387.69, with construction conglomerate Fletcher Building among the leading losers, as its shares fell 3.6%.

Both of the down under dollars were weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.3% at AUD 1.4163, and the Kiwi retreating 0.4% to NZD 1.4634.

Sharecast