SYDNEY, Australia - Stocks in the Asian region were mixed on Thursday. The main action was on foreign exchange markets where the British pound soared to a high of 1.2990 after a deal on Brexit was announced. With the details and approvals still pending, the pound slipped back to the 1.2800s. In early afternoon trading in Europe it was quoted at 1.2868.
The euro was also sharply higher at 1.1122, after touching a high for the day of 1.1140. Commodity currencies also firmed on the news. The Japanese yen was unchanged and weak at 108.77. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9896.
The Canadian dollar rose to 1.3168. The Australian dollar climbed to 0.6829, while the New Zealand dollar rallied to 0.6332 in the early afternoon in Europe.
China's markets were on the back-burner, however Hong Kong put in a strong rally.
At the close of trading Thursday, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was down 21.06 points or 0.09% at 22,451.86.
Australia's All Ordinaries gave up 51.20 points or 0.76% to 6,791.50.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng jumped 184.21 points or 0.69% to 26,848.49.
China's Shanghai Composite was down just 1.38 points or 0.05% at 2,977.33.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.82 points, or 0.08%, at 27,001.98.
The Standard and Poor's 500 dropped 5.99 points, or 0.20%, to 2,989.69.
The Nasdaq Composite eased 24.52 points, or 0.3%, to 8,124.18.