Asian shares mostly lower amid Brexit worries, Takata falls

AP News
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Posted: Jan 15, 2017 10:34 PM
Asian shares mostly lower amid Brexit worries, Takata falls

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly lower Monday morning amid worries about Britain's exit from the European Union, and Takata stock dropped in Tokyo after the air bag maker agreed to a guilty plea in the U.S. over massive recalls.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was down 0.9 percent to 19,111.90 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,746.40. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.5 percent at 2,067.51. Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.7 percent to 22,768.55, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 1 percent to 3,080.67.

BREXIT WORRIES: British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to deliver a speech outlining her vision of Britain's post-EU future, and market players are worried what she says may indicate a "hard" approach to the nation's exit. Her office has said she will call for a "truly global Britain" that is more open to the world when she sets out plans for negotiations with the European Union.

TAKATA TUMBLE: Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. stock suffered after it agreed in the U.S. last week to a guilty plea and a $1 billion fines in a scheme to conceal a deadly defect in millions of air bags. Takata shares dropped nearly 10 percent in morning trading. Three former Takata executives were also indicted. Automakers have recalled 42 million cars equipped with 69 million Takata air bag inflators in the U.S., the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 5.27 points, or 0.03 percent, to finish the week at 19,885.73. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,274.64. The Nasdaq added 26.63 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,574.12. The index has set a record-high close six times this year. Trading in the U.S. will be closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

THE QUOTE: "Asian markets are facing headwinds from rising political uncertainty in the West, which gave investors good reasons to take profits," said Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

ENERGY: Benchmark crude rose 18 cents to $52.55 a barrel. It fell 1.2 percent in New York late Friday. Brent crude, which is used to price oil sold internationally, added 24 cents to $55.69 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 114.07 yen from 115.07 yen late Friday in Asia. The euro strengthened to $1.0623 from $1.0608.

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