Asian markets mostly lower, ASX down 1.2%, Hong Kong down 1%
Across the Korean strait, the Kospi was trading 0.55 percent lower. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 1.03 percent.
Asian markets traded on the back foot, after US stocks fell overnight amid renewed global growth concerns and as oil prices lost ground. "Equity market sentiment seems to be rolling over globally as the wind begins to come out of the oil price rally," said Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, in a note Wednesday. Oil prices retreated overnight, with US crude futures settling down 2.5 percent at USD 43.65 a barrel, while Brent futures settled down 1.9 percent at USD 44.97. In Sydney, the ASX 200 fell 1.23 percent, weighed by losses in the energy subindex, down 3.48 percent, and the materials subindex, which was lower by 4.47 percent. Chinese mainland markets opened flat to higher, with the Shanghai composite was up 0.10 percent, while the Shenzhen composite was 0.41 higher. Across the Korean strait, the Kospi was trading 0.55 percent lower. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index shed 1.03 percent. Major resource producers were all lower, with shares of Rio Tinto falling 4.99 percent, while Fortescue Metals was down 2.28 percent. BHP Billiton shares tumbled 8.2 percent as investors digested news of the Australian miner getting slapped with a 155 billion real ($43 billion) civil lawsuit against iron miner Samarco, Vale and BHP Billiton for a dam spill in November in Brazil, Reuters reported. In the currency market, the Australian dollar/U.S. dollar pair traded at 0.7477 as of 9:52 a.m. HK/SIN time. That's down from levels a tad above 0.77 Tuesday afternoon before the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised markets by announcing a 25 basis point interest rate cut to a record low 1.75 percent. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, was trading at 93.09 at 9:42 a.m. HK/SIN time, firming after dipping under 92 overnight, tapping the lowest levels since January 2015. Overnight, the Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart reaffirmed that the Federal Reserve would not back-peddle on policy and that two rate hikes were certainly possible. Japan's Nikkei 225 last traded on Monday, when it closed down 3.1 percent; the market was closed Tuesday for the Constitution Day holiday and is closed Wednesday for the Greenery day public holiday. Major US indexes closed mixed, with the Dow Jones industrial average down 0.78 percent, the S&P 500 finishing 0.87 percent lower and the Nasdaq composite down 1.13 percent, its lowest close since March 14. Tags Asian markets Shanghai composite Kospi Hang Seng.