Most Asian stock market indices were trading lower on Thursday (30 March), with the Shanghai Composite down 1.12% at 3,205 as of 4.46am GMT, following the UK triggering the formal Brexit process.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This led to the beginning of the formal two-year process that will see the country exit the European Union. Investors are said to now be uncertain over the UK's economy.

Kaneo Ogino, director at research firm Global-info Co, was cited by Reuters as saying: "Brexit, to some extent, has been covered in the market already. People went short, covered, and went short again."

Investors were also said to be concerned over European Central Bank (ECB) policymakers being wary of changing their policy. They now expect borrowing costs to increase.

"Markets were a tad taken aback that the ECB made an effort to clarify its neutral-ish (with accommodation commitment) stance and dial back over-interpreted hawkish slant."

"We too think that the ECB is not yet ready to commit (hawkishly) yet; and not just because the eurozone has just started with the divorce proceedings," Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, was quoted as explaining by CNBC.

Indices in the region were trading as follows at 5am GMT:

CountryIndexPriceUp/Down%Change
Hong KongHang Seng Index24,291.47Down0.41%
JapanNikkei 22519,136.54Down0.42%
South KoreaKOSPI2,162.18Down0.22%
IndiaBSE29,622.53Up0.31%
AustraliaS&P/ASX 2005,896.40Up0.39%

On 29 March, the FTSE100 closed 0.41% higher at 7,373.72 while the S&P 500 index closed 0.11% higher at 2,361.13.

Among commodities, oil prices were in the green after US data showed that its crude inventories grew less than expected last week. As of 12.50am EDT, WTI crude oil was up 0.42% at $49.72 (£39.97) a barrel, while Brent crude was trading 0.23% higher at $52.54 a barrel.