US stock indexes end mostly higher, extending market's gains

A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Asian shares were lower Wednesday amid continuing global uncertainties that weighed on stocks as some traders took profits from a rally earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
A man walks past an electronic board showing Hong Kong share index outside a bank in Hong Kong, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Asian shares were lower Wednesday amid continuing global uncertainties that weighed on stocks as some traders took profits from a rally earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

TOKYO — Asian shares were lower Wednesday amid continuing global uncertainties that weighed on stocks as some traders took profits from a rally earlier in the week.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 dropped 1.2 percent to 21,243.26 in morning trading. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5 percent to 6,141.30. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.9 percent to 2,136.52. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent to 28,776.10, while the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.8 percent at 3,035.15.

On Wall Street, Boeing weighed down the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a second day as shares in the aircraft maker fell amid safety concerns following a second deadly crash involving its most popular plane. The company led a slide in industrial sector stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 index gained 8.22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,791.52. The Dow fell 96.22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,554.66. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed 32.97 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,591.03. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 0.96 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,549.83.

Investors have also been closely watching developments in Britain, although they appeared to shrug off the latest developments. Parliament voted to reject a deal for the U.K. to exit from the European Union. The move plunges the Brexit process into chaos just 17 days before Britain is due to leave the bloc.

Investors are also still waiting for more details on any potential trade deal between the U.S. and China. Costly tariffs have hurt both nations and investors hope a deal can be struck to at least take some pressure off the global economy, which has shown signs of cooling off.

CURRENCIES: The dollar inched down to 111.21 yen from Tuesday's 111.26 yen . The euro rose to $1.1288 from $1.1256.

ENERGY: The price of benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 20 cents to $57.07 a barrel. It rose 8 cents to $56.87 a barrel Tuesday. Brent crude rose 11 cents to $66.78 a barrel.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

People also read these

Asian stocks markets retreat after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Most Asian stock markets have declined in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday after Wall...

A look at how Trump might shake things up in Asia

Jan 16, 2017

Donald Trump has offered views on U.S. relations with Asia that could indicate radical shifts in...

Stocks drop but pound recovers as UK lays out Brexit plan

Jan 17, 2017

Global stocks fell Tuesday but the pound rebounded as British Prime Minister Theresa May says her...

Asian stocks directionless, dollar steadies after slide

Jan 18, 2017

Most Asian stock indexes are lacking direction following a sharp correction overnight in the dollar...

China manufacturing activity in January close to 2-year high

Feb 1, 2017

A government survey shows China's manufacturing activity expanded in January at close to its...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com