The dollar firmed and most riskier assets edged lower Wednesday as uncertainty over the timing of Spain's request for an international bailout added to worries about slowing global growth.
The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan and Japan's Nikkei stock average both dipped 0.1 percent, Reuters reported. Markets in China and South Korea are closed for holidays on Wednesday.
In the foreign exchange market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, inched higher while the euro was down 0.1 percent at $1.2907. The euro has come off a three-week low of $1.28035 touched on Monday but remains well below a 4-1/2 month high of $1.31729 seen in mid-September.
The dollar was also up 0.1 percent at 78.255 yen, a 1-1/2 week high.
In Australia, shares rose 0.5 percent to a five-month high after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut interest rates to support the local economy against the headwinds of a global slowdown.
The Australian dollar eased 0.2 percent to hover around a one-month low of $1.0252, pressured by the RBA's rate cut.
U.S. crude fell 0.3 percent to $91.62 a barrel and Brent fell 0.2 percent to $111.27.
Spot gold eased 0.2 percent to $1,771.69 an ounce. Expectations for a prolonged easy U.S. monetary stance lifted spot gold to $1,791.20 on Monday, its highest since mid-November last year.