January 23, 2019: Europe's main stock markets fell at the opening bell on Wednesday. In initial deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies retreated 0.4 percent to 6,872.09 points, compared with Tuesday's closing level.
In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 also shed 0.4 percent to 11,043.64 points and the Paris CAC 40 lost 0.3 percent to 4,831.92.
Meanwhile, Tokyo stocks recovered from earlier losses to end almost flat Wednesday, as the dollar firmed while investors searched for new cues.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index ended down just 0.14 percent, or 29.19 points, at 20,593.72, while the broader Topix index fell 0.60 percent, or 9.40 points, to 1,547.03.
Tokyo shares began trading in the red, touching the day's low of 20,438.22 a minute after the opening bell, after Wall Street shares ended down.
But “bargain hunters stepped in when the Nikkei 225 dipped below the 20,500 mark”, and the Tokyo market steadily reduced losses, Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary.
Before lunch, the Nikkei recovered ground and the index zigzagged between positive and negative territory in a narrow band for the rest of the session, ending marginally in the red.
The dollar fetched 109.66 yen in Asian trade, up from 109.37 yen in New York on Tuesday, as the Bank of Japan kept its policy in place while revising down its inflation forecasts.
In Tokyo, exporters were broadly lower although some gained, with Olympus closing up 0.55 percent at 4,565 yen and Nikon ending up 1.06 percent at 1,713 yen.
Toyota ended down 0.94 percent at 6,720 yen and Nissan was down 0.38 percent at 910.3 yen.
Subaru dropped 3.44 percent to 2,469.5 yen after a technical glitch that has forced the suspension of operations at a domestic plant.
On the other hand, Hong Kong stocks barely moved on Wednesday after swinging in and out of positive territory all through the day as investors keep tabs on developments in the China-US trade spat.
The Hang Seng Index inched up 2.75 points to end at 27,008.20.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.05 percent, or 1.30 points, up at 2,581.00, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, gained 0.13 percent, or 1.70 points, to 1,316.28.