Most of the Asian equity benchmarks are trading lower in the early deals on Wednesday amid lingering political and economic uncertainty in the US and Europe as well as on lower crude oil prices. The political situation in France with the potential for a ‘Frexit’ as well as uncertainty about President Donald Trump's policies weighed on investor sentiment. Japan's Nikkei share average edged higher despite stocks tracking the volatile currency market, while the glass manufacturing sector outperformed on brisk earnings results. Among the other Asian markets, Shanghai, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan are all lower.
Hang Seng dipped 21.28 points or 0.09% to 23,310.29, Jakarta Composite slipped 22.90 points or 0.43% to 5,358.58, KOSPI Index contracted 12.08 points or 0.58% to 2,063.13, Taiwan Weighted crumbled 8.19 points or 0.09% to 9,546.37, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI dropped 0.75 points or 0.04% to 1,688.09, Straits Times decreased 11.02 points or 0.36% to 3,060.62, and Shanghai Composite was down by 10.16 points or 0.32% to 3,142.93.
On the flip side, Nikkei 225 was up by 12.17 points or 0.06% to 18,922.95.