Markets in Asia finished mixed on Thursday, as investors reacted to fresh economic data out of China, and further developments in the ongoing Brexit saga in the UK House of Commons.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was down 0.02% at 21,287.02, as the yen weakened 0.39% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 111.60.

The broader Topix was down 0.24% in Tokyo, to finish at 1,588.29.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 1.2% lower at 2,990.69, and the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite stumbled 2.31% to 1,618.26.

Fresh data out of China on Thursday showed a further slowdown in industrial output in the first two months of 2019, to a 17-year low.

According to a report by Reuters, however, investments hastened in the same period as Beijing poured more money into road and rail infrastructure projects.

South Korea's Kospi was 0.34% higher at 2,155.68, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong managed gains of 0.15% to 28,851.39.

Sentiment was buoyant earlier in the session, after British MPs voted against the UK leaving the European Union without a deal under any circumstance.

However, the vote was not much more than a signal how the parliament was feeling, with the country still set to crash out of the EU on 29 March unless a deal is reached or the Article 50 period is extended or retracted.

“The pound's appreciation yesterday is still set on shaky and not on firm foundation,” noted analysts at DBS Group.

Oil prices were higher as the region went to bed, with Brent crude last up 0.44% at $67.85 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate ahead 0.39% to $58.49.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was ahead 0.3% at 6,179.60, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 was ahead 0.5% at 9,435.50.

Both of the down under dollars were weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.63% at AUD 1.4184, and the Kiwi retreating 0.62% to NZD 1.4672.

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