Asian stocks fell Wednesday morning after a decline in oil and weak Chinese trade data dragged U.S. shares down Tuesday.
Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.5 percent and Singapore's STI dropped 1.6 percent. South Korea's KOSPI was little changed, while Australia's ASX 200 rose 0.1 percent.
In the U.S. on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite both lost more than 1 percent.
Brent crude, the world oil benchmark, fell 3 percent on Tuesday, snapping a six-day rally, as Goldman Sachs said the run-up wasn't sustainable and data showed U.S. inventories rose to a new record last week, Reuters reported. Brent — which reached $40 per barrel for the first time this year during the rally — fell 3 percent to $39.65, while the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate crude, fell 3.7 percent to $36.50.
Oil's drop from over $100 a barrel in mid-2014 has hurt shares of energy companies and the many industries that supply them around the world, resulting in this year's global stock dip.
"Several key macro headwinds remain on point, and the drivers of the past week are now showing signs of topping out,” Bloomberg quoted Evan Lucas, a markets strategist in Melbourne at IG Ltd., saying.
The headwinds may include China, which on Tuesday reported that its exports slumped 24 percent in February, which was larger than expected, even accounting for the weeklong Lunar New Year holidays. This added to concerns about the world's second-largest economy, and the global economy with it. The European Central Bank meets Thursday after suggesting it may boost stimulus as early as this month.
"Renewed concerns over China's economic outlook following [Tuesday's] softer-than-expected trade numbers halted a five-day equity rally and triggered a bid for safe haven assets," CNBC quoted Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at the National Australia Bank, saying.