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Asian Stocks Mixed as May Suffers Resounding Defeat on Brexit Divorce Deal

Investing.com - Asian stocks were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan on how Britain should exit the European Union (EU) was overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Commons.

China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component traded near flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.1% by 9:33 PM ET (02:33 GMT).

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) injected 560 billion yuan ($82.64 billion) through reverse repo operations on Tuesday, noting in a statement on its website that the injection was meant to maintain "reasonably ample" liquidity in the banking system.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.7% after data on Wednesday showed the country’s core machinery orders slowed sharply in November from October.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.2%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 traded 0.1% higher.

In the U.K., the House of Commons voted 432 versus 202 against Prime Minister May’s Brexit Deal. Following the defeat, May now faces a confidence vote in Parliament later today.

“It is clear that the House does not support this deal,” May told the Commons.

“But tonight’s vote tells us nothing about what it does support -- nothing about how -- or even if -- it intends to honor the decision the British people took in a referendum Parliament decided to hold,” she added.

The U.K. is due to leave the EU in 10 weeks. If nothing is approved by March 29, Britain would make a “no-deal” departure from the bloc, which could pose dire economic risks.

Despite the news, the British pound turned higher earlier in the day due to “strong cross-party support to prevent a no deal from occurring on 29 March,” CNBC reported citing a morning note released by ANZ Research.

The gains in the pound are "limited by the prevailing uncertainty,” ANZ added.

Overnight, U.S. stocks closed higher after China vowed tax cut on a larger scale to help support its slowing economy.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the government would help the country to meet its economic goals for 2019, while the National Development and Reform Commission said it would aim to achieve “a good start” in the first quarter.


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