CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stocks fell broadly on Wednesday as commodities declined on concerns over slowing growth in China and uncertainty prevailed over the fate of a U.S. tax reform bill.
Chinese shares extended losses after a slew of data released on Tuesday suggested that growth was moderating.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 27.02 points or 0.79 percent to 3,402.52 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was down over 1 percent at 28,851 in late trade.
Japanese shares tumbled as the yen surged broadly and economic data on industrial output and GDP painted a mixed picture of the economy.
While Japan's industrial output declined less than initially estimated in September, GDP grew 0.3 percent sequentially in the third quarter of 2017, shy of expectations for a 0.4 percent gain and down from 0.6 percent in the second quarter, separate reports showed.
The Nikkei average gave up 351.69 points or 1.57 percent to end at 22,028.32 while the broader Topix index closed 1.96 percent lower at 1,744.01.
Exporters Canon, Sony and Panasonic lost 2-3 percent while energy stocks Inpex Corp and Japan Petroleum ended down 3.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
Australian shares fell for a fourth consecutive session as lower prices for oil and metals pulled down mining and energy stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 34.50 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 5,934.20 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 36.40 points or 0.60 percent at 6,012.30.
Oil Search, Origin Energy, Santos and Beach Energy lost 2-4 percent after oil prices fell for a third day in a row on Tuesday. A broad-based pullback in base metals prices weighed on the mining sector, with BHP Billiton, South32, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group losing 2-3 percent.
The big four banks fell between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent after the release of sluggish wage growth and consumer confidence data. DuluxGroup shares soared 6.1 percent after the paints maker reported a 10 percent increase in full-year profit and said it expects to increase its annual profit in 2018.
Seoul stocks retreated for the fifth straight day as growing economic uncertainties at home and abroad kept investors nervous. The benchmark Kospi dropped 8.39 points or 0.33 percent to finish at 2,518.25, led down by tech stocks such as Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.
In economic releases, South Korea's seasonally adjusted jobless rate edged down to 3.6 percent in October from 3.7 percent in September, figures from Statistics Korea showed.
New Zealand shares closed marginally lower, mirroring weak cues from other regional markets. The benchmark S&P NZX-50 index slid 8 points or 0.10 percent to finish below 8,000, with Genesis Energy and Metro Performance Glass falling around 4 percent each. Xero jumped 4 percent on bargain hunting after recent heavy selling.
On the economic front, New Zealand's house prices increased in October from a year ago, while the volume of sales plunged, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reported.
Indonesian shares were marginally higher after data showed the country's exports and imports grew more than expected in October.
Benchmark indexes in Malaysia, India, Taiwan and Singapore were down between 0.3 percent and 0.9 percent.
Overnight, U.S. stocks fell slightly, with disappointing data from China, concerns about U.S. tax reform and another sell-off in General Electric shares weighing on markets. The Dow inched down 0.1 percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite index shed 0.3 percent.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX