Asia Shares Subdued, May’s Brexit Options Eyed After Crushing Vote Defeat | 1/7/2019 | Staff
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares took a breather on Wednesday after rallying the previous day on Chinese stimulus hopes, with investors assessing Brexit options after British lawmakers trounced Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to pull out Britain from the European Union.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was off a touch, having swung up on Tuesday after Chinese officials came out in force to signal more measures to stabilize a slowing economy.

China - Wall - Street - Session - Asia

The China hopes also helped boost Wall Street overnight, though the early session in Asia saw investors tread cautiously.

Australian shares tacked on 0.1 percent while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.7 percent.

May - Crushing - Loss - Collapse - Strategy

May’s crushing loss marks the collapse of her two-year strategy of forging an amicable divorce with close ties to the EU after the March 29 exit.

Investors’ focus is now on a confidence vote on May’s government by lawmakers later on Wednesday.

Sterling - Trading - Dollar - Percent - Cent

Sterling was last trading at $1.2848 on the dollar, off about 0.1 percent. It had rallied more than a cent from the day’s lows against the dollar with the sizable defeat for May seen forcing Britain to pursue different options.

“Theresa May was clearly prepared to take that loss on her deal. She seems to have a plan in place for what she’s going to do,” said Nick Twidale, Sydney-based analyst at Rakuten Securities Australia.

Twidale - Volatility - UK - Market - Sterling

Twidale said he expected more volatility across the UK market and in sterling over the coming sessions. “The stumbling block is Europe saying it’s not going to renegotiate on that deal. I’m not so sure that they won’t.”

May’s defeat also fueled volatility in UK-focused exchange-traded funds. A Tokyo-traded FTSE 100 ETF was down about one percent on Wednesday.

Tuesday - Session - Wall - Street - S

In Tuesday’s session on Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 1.1...
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