Investing.com – Asian Equities were mixed in morning trade on Thursday after U.K. lawmakers rejected the idea of leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal to avoid the economic uncertainty and trade disruptions that it could cause.
Members of Parliament will now vote again later today on whether to seek an extension to Article 50, the provision of the EU treaty under which the U.K. is withdrawing from the bloc.
Yesterday, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said a “no-deal” scenario remains the default option after her Brexit deal suffered another defeat in the British Parliament.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% by 9:40 PM ET (01:40 GMT). South Korea’s KOSPI was little changed, while Australia’s ASX 200 was also trading near flat.
Chinese stocks underperformed their regional peers as investors awaited retail sales and industrial production data from China for clues about the health of the world’s second-largest economy.
The Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Component were down 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.1%.
Although not a directional driver, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to push back a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping until a final deal on trade is reached.
“We could do it either way,” Trump told reporters Wednesday at the White House. “We can have the deal completed and come and sign or we can get the deal almost completed and negotiate some of the final points. I would prefer that. But it doesn’t matter that much.”
Earlier, the President downplayed expectations that a U.S.-China trade deal would be announced sooner rather later.
He told reporters at the White House that he was in “no rush” whatsoever to make a deal with China.
“It’s got to be the right deal,” he said. “It’s got to be a good deal for us, and, if it’s not, we’re not going to make that deal.”
Overnight, U.S. equities markets closed higher, with energy stocks leading the gains thanks to a rally in oil prices on data showing domestic crude stockpiles unexpectedly fell.