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Nikkei Markets

Asian stocks fall as Brexit uncertainty hurts risk appetite

LG Display slides in Seoul after reporting quarterly loss

HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- Asian stocks outside of Japan fell Wednesday, as risk sentiment was jittery amid uncertainty over the timeline of Britain's exit from the European Union.

The Nikkei Asia300 Index lost 0.4% to 1,288.43.

Most regional equity benchmarks fell and the safe-haven Japanese yen climbed against the U.S. dollar after British lawmakers on Tuesday voted against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's proposed timetable to fast-track legislation for a deal to take Britain out of the European Union. The rejection makes Brexit unlikely by Johnson's Oct. 31 target.

"Brexit risks took hold of market sentiment in the absence of other major catalysts," said Jameel Ahmad, the global head of currency strategy at FXTM.

Meanwhile, social unrest in Hong Kong continues to cloud sentiment. The Chinese government is drawing up a plan to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam with an interim chief executive as anti-government protests in the city show few signs of easing, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the deliberations.

Liquid crystal display panel maker LG Display fell 2.1% in Seoul after reporting a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss on Wednesday. The company also expects panel shipments to decline in the fourth quarter from the third quarter.

Petrochemical materials maker LG Chem edged 0.3% higher after saying it plans to buy shares in its China unit for $417 million.

Automotive parts maker Hyundai Mobis declined 0.4%. The company on Wednesday said it will invest $50 million in U.S. self-driving technology company Velodyne Lidar.

Anhui Conch Cement added 1.8% after reporting an increase of 15% in third-quarter net profit from a year earlier, and a 42.4% jump in revenue.

China Railway Construction Corp. (CRCC) advanced 2.1% following a 25.1% jump in the value of newly signed contracts for the January-to-September period.

Bajaj Auto climbed 1.1% in Mumbai after the auto maker reported a better-than-expected September quarter profit.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ended 0.3% higher, reversing a 2% intraday decline, after the drugmaker confirmed that it was voluntarily recalling all ranitidine products in the U.S. amid concerns of an impurity in the drug. Ranitidine is used to treat stomach acidity.

--Suzannah Benjamin

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