Asian markets were mixed Wednesday, with China shares dropping, as analysts pointed to renewed investor concerns over the mainland's economy following lower-than-expected trade data for February.
Elsewhere, the Japanese benchmark Nikkei 225 finished down 140.95 points, or 0.84 percent, at 16,642.20; South Korea's Kospi ended higher by 6.83 points, or 0.35 percent, at 1,952.95, after wavering between gains and losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed nearly flat at 19,996.26.
Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 also gained, closing up 49.23 points, or 0.96 percent, at 5,157.20, buoyed by the financials sector, which was up 1.55 percent.
"Consolidation and reflection seems to be the name of the game after a strong run in commodities and equities," wrote IG's chief market strategist, Chris Weston, in an afternoon note. Weston said he saw "clear concern" from clients over "whether it is time to increase bearish positioning again."
One factor adding to investor concerns is China's weaker-than-expected trade data.
Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at the National Australia Bank, said in a note, "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."