Asian stocks ended lower on Wednesday, following declines in the Wall Street overnight on concerns that rising oil prices could hurt economic recovery.
Tokyo shares snapped a three-day winning streak to end lower on Wednesday as oil prices climbed on concern Middle East unrest will reduce supplies. Japanese benchmark index Nikkei plunged 2.43 percent or 261.65 points to 10,492.38.
Aozora Bank Ltd. slumped 5.02 percent to 189 yen and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group declined 3.2 percent to 453 yen, while Toyota Motor declined 2.85 percent and Nintendo fell 3.72 percent. Sharp Corp. declined 4.83 percent after Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities cut its rating to equal-weight from overweight.
Chinese Shanghai composite declined 0.16 percent or 4.65 points to 2,914.28 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 347.76 points or 1.49 percent to 23,048.66. Shares of Sands China plunged 6.19 percent in Hong Kong after parent Las Vegas Sands said it's being investigated by U.S. authorities over its compliance with anti-bribery laws in its Macau operations.
South Korean shares ended lower with benchmark Seoul composite down 11.06 points or 0.57 percent to 1,928.24. So far the index declined 5.99 percent this year. Hyundai Engineering & Construction declined 4.16 percent and Samsung Engineering fell 4.79 percent.