Asia markets mostly lower after Brussels terror attack

Soldiers stand guard in front of the central train station in Brussels, as the Belgian capital Image copyright Getty Images

Most Asian markets ended lower on Wednesday, with investors remaining cautious after the Brussels attacks.

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.35% lower at 16,989.62, while South Korea's Kospi fell 0.08% to end at 1,995.12 points.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.5% to 5,142.27 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 0.25% at 20,615.23.

China's Shanghai Composite index was the one bright spot, closing up 0.35% at 3,009.96.

Alex Wijaya from CMC Markets said the attacks in Brussels had made investors more risk averse.

The pound fell sharply in the wake of the attacks, falling from a high of $1.4397 to about $1.4220, as they were seen as increasing the likelihood of the UK leaving the EU.

"The proponents of a Brexit claim that uncontrolled immigration in the EU raises the possibility of attacks in the future and background checks might provide some oversight," he said.

"Traders are concerned that this issue could sway voters to vote to leave the EU and the pound was sold down heavily yesterday."

Stock movers

Shares of Australia' Woodside Petroleum fell by 1.2% after it indefinitely postponed plans to develop a major liquefied natural gas project.

The company said it was shelving the $40bn Browse project "considering the current economic and market environment".

Nintendo slipped back after its shares jumped on Tuesday when investors cheered the success of its Miitomo smartphone application, which marks the firm's first foray into the mobile gaming market.

The game-maker, which also makes the Super Mario and Donkey Kong titles, saw its stock jump 8% on Tuesday after the firm said Miitomo logged more a million downloads in three days in Japan.

The app allows users to create cartoon avatars of themselves and play simple games as part of a social network.