Asian shares tumbled from multi-month peaks on Wednesday, in a sell-off led by the Shanghai market, as investors booked in profits ahead of more company earnings.
Japanese shares gained, but stock indices in Australia and Hong Kong fell after strong run-ups in the past two weeks. The MSCI Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> fell 2.6 percent, flagging after a climb this week to a 10-month high.
In Europe, stock eased after Chinese stocks fell as investors worried banks there may start to restrict lending, and S&P futures signaled a soft start on Wall Street.
Shares in China State Construction Engineering Corp <601668.SS>, whose $7.3 billion IPO last week was the world's largest in a year, jumped 70 percent at its debut, besting expectations -- but also stirring concerns about asset price bubbles.
It was the second big listing in Shanghai since China resumed IPOs last month, and followed on the heels of Sichuan Expressway's <601107.SS><0107.HK> runaway success on Monday.
Such strong debuts of new listings will become a great boost for forthcoming IPOs, though worries have also strengthened of overall high valuations of the market, said Qian Qimin, deputy head of research at Shenyin & Wanguo Securities in Shanghai.
BBMG Corp <2009.HK>, one of China's largest building materials manufacturers, also jumped 60 percent at its debut in Hong Kong.
But the Hang Seng index <.HSI> shed 3 percent after ending at its highest in nearly 11 months on Tuesday, and the Shanghai Composite Index <.SSEC> closed down 5 percent, its biggest daily loss in 8 months.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei average <.N225> edged up 0.3 percent to its highest close in seven weeks, a day after snapping its longest string of consecutive gains since 1988.
It's natural that the market takes a breather due to investor fatigue after a nine-day winning streak and caution before earnings reports, said Fumiyuki Nakanishi, manager at SMBC Friend Securities.
But foreign investors appear to have a bullish view on the outlook for the stock markets and that's providing support to blue-chip stocks and a solid floor for the Nikkei.
Japan's market was buoyed by high-tech shares such as Tokyo Electron <8035.T>. After the bell Nomura Holdings Inc <8604.T>, its largest brokerage, posted its first profit in six quarters, and Toshiba Corp <6502.T> announced a smaller-than-expected quarterly operating loss thanks to solid chip prices.
Australian shares <.AXJO> shed 0.6 percent, with top investment bank Macquarie Group
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> closed down 0.13 percent at 9,096.72 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 0.26 percent but the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 0.39 percent.
Weak U.S. consumer confidence in the previous session weighed on Shanghai copper and on oil, which slid below $67 a barrel and extended losses from Tuesday when industry data showed a larger-than-expected rise in crude inventories last week.
Gold made little headway after a sharp drop to its lowest in nearly two weeks on Tuesday. Spot gold stood at $935.60 an ounce, up from the low of $933.70 the previous day.
In the currency markets, the dollar edged up from this year's trough against a basket of currencies <.DXY> set on Tuesday, while the euro eased 0.3 percent to $1.4122, slipping from this week's eight-week high.
The yen edged up, capitalizing on profit-taking in higher yielding currencies, to standing at 94.13 yen per dollar.
Shorter-dated U.S. Treasury debt prices firmed after falling on Tuesday following weak results at a record $42 billion sale of two-year notes.
The auction cast doubt on investor appetite for U.S. government debt and made the market nervous about big auctions of five-year notes on Wednesday and seven-year notes on Thursday.
(Editing by Kazunori Takada)