Mainland shares flat
China's Shanghai Composite Index saw volatile trade on Wednesday but managed to limit losses to close little changed, after the release of key monthly data offset the drag from weak July lending figures.
Retail sales rose 12.2 percent on-year in July, versus the estimate of a 12.4 percent rise. Industrial output gained 9 percent, in line with a Reuters forecast, after climbing 9.2 percent in June, data on Wednesday showed.
Most banking stocks languished after central bank data showed China's total social financing (TSF) aggregate, a broad measure of liquidity in the economy, falling to 273.1 billion yuan ($44.34 billion) in July, about one seventh of that in June and the lowest monthly reading since October 2008.
The Bank of Communications and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China lost 0.7 and 0.6 percent, respectively. Smaller banks like Merchants Bank and Hua Xia Bank closed 0.7 percent lower, respectively.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong stocks recouped losses to add 0.1 percent.
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Sydney falls 0.3%
Australia's key S&P ASX 200 index slipped into the red on Wednesday, hurt by steep losses in the banking and mining stocks.
Miners Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals tumbled 3 and 2.2 percent each, after copper prices fell to a six-week-low. OZ Minerals doubled its declines after midday, falling over 4 percent after reporting a loss of A$7.4 million in its fiscal first half.
Also weighing on the bourse was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia which slumped nearly 1 percent, despite beating expectations to report a 12 percent rise in full year cash profit.
The world's second-biggest blood-products maker CSL added nearly 3 percent, bolstered by a 7.8 percent rise in full year net profit after tax.
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Seoul up 1%
South Korean shares rose for the third straight session to hit a near one-week-high of 2,062.
The Kospi index outperformed the region, as investors snapped up stocks ahead of the Bank of Korea's policy meeting on Thursday, where it is widely expected to cut rates for the first time since May 2013.
Top gainers include Kia Motors which piled on 2 percent but fellow carmaker Hyundai Motor closed 0.7 percent lower, after news that its union will go on strike starting from next Monday following failed wage negotiations.