Asian shares faltered while the yen firmed Wednesday as investors stayed risk-averse, with continued weak corporate earnings worldwide and worries about economic slowdowns.

Asian markets will also focus on HSBC's latest report on China's manufacturing sector, due around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday EDT, with any bad news likely to further hurt fragile sentiment.

Global shares, gold and commodities fell while safe-haven assets such as U.S. Treasuries and the dollar rose Tuesday, Reuters reported. A retreat in risk appetite also pulled the Japanese yen off its multi-month lows against the dollar and the euro.

The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3 percent Wednesday morning, Reuters reported. South Korean shares opened down 1 percent, after SK Hynix Inc., the world's No. 2 computer memory chipmaker, reported a third-quarter operating loss before the market opened. Australian shares fell 0.7 percent, with miners and banks leading the declines.

Japan's Nikkei average opened down 1.3 percent.

A top European share index slid to its lowest level in more than one-and-a-half months on Tuesday while U.S. stocks fell.

Receding risk appetite underpinned the yen, with the dollar trading at 79.82 yen, off its highest point since early July of 80.02 yen touched on Tuesday. The euro retreated from its 5/1-2 month high against the yen of 104.45 hit Tuesday, trading at 103.52 yen.

Spot gold steadied at $1,710.19 an ounce, after falling 1.2 percent to a six-week low of $1,703.50 on Tuesday as other assets fell.

U.S. crude steadied at $86.78 after settling at a three-month low of $86.67 on Tuesday. Brent crude futures were also steady at $108.31.

The euro was at $1.2977, off Tuesday's low of $1.2952 but well below last week's high of $1.3140. The euro marked a low around $1.2804 this month.