Beijing: Most Asian stock markets gained Thursday after Wall Street fell and Britain's Cabinet endorsed a draft agreement to leave the European Union.
The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent to 2,659.12 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1 per cent to 25,907.26. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.2 per cent to 21,803.62 and Seoul's Kospi advanced 0.4 per cent to 2,077.41.
Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 added 3 points to 5,736.00. India's Sensex rose 0.4 per cent to 35,286.91. Bangkok and New Zealand retreated while Taiwan and other Southeast Asian markets rose.
US markets were dragged down by losses for tech companies, banks and insurers.
Apple Inc. lost 2.8 per cent. Bond prices rose as traders shifted money into low-risk assets.
That pulled yields down, which hurts banks by driving interest rates on loans lower.
Energy stocks rebounded as crude oil prices snapped a 12-day losing streak.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.8 per cent to 2,701.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.8 per cent to 25,080.50. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.9 per cent to 7,136.39.
Prime Minister Theresa May persuaded the British Cabinet to back an agreement to separate from the European Union, triggering the final steps toward Brexit.
May said the decision is a "decisive step" toward finalising the exit deal with the EU within days, though it was unclear whether Parliament will go along.
The deal would allow Britain to stay in a customs union, bound by EU rules, while the two sides negotiate a trade treaty.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the two sides agreed to avoid a "hard border" between Ireland, a member of the trade bloc, and Northern Ireland.
"Despite the UK Cabinet backing the new Brexit draft plan, the boost for markets had been short-lived with the sea of worries overruling sentiment," said Jingyi Pan of IG in a report.
Asian markets are "taking after the poor leads from Wall Street" due to "little data" due out in the region.
Government data showed employment rose by 32,800 in October, above market expectations for a gain of 20,000. The jobless rate stayed at 5 per cent. The annual rate of job creation rose to 2.5 per cent.
Benchmark US crude lost 12 cents to USD 56.13 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 56 cents on Wednesday to close at USD 56.25. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 1 cent to USD 66.11 per barrel in London. It gained 65 cents the previous session to USD 66.12.
The dollar weakened to 113.47 yen from Wednesday's 113.63 yen. The euro strengthened to USD 1.1323 from USD 1.1309.(AP)