Mainland shares down
On the third day of the Shanghai-Hong Kong trade connect, both China's Shanghai Composite index and Hong Kong shares saw declines of 0.2 and 0.7 percent on the back of profit-taking. The Hang Seng index hit a one-and-a-half-week low late Wednesday.
Nearly 8 percent of the quota for "northbound" purchases of A-shares was used by mid-afternoon, according to Thomson Reuters data. The heavily traded Chinese stocks were SAIC Motor and Kweichow Moutai, which traded 4.7 and 1.7 percent lower.
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Sydney drops 0.6%
Australia's S&P ASX 200 index hit a near-four-week low in its third straight losing session, as a persistent slide in the resources sector took a toll on the bourse.
Miners were downbeat on the back of declining iron ore prices; BC Iron and Fortescue Metals plummeted over 12 and 7 percent, respectively. Atlas Iron receded 4.7 percent while Rio Tinto closed down 2.5 percent.
"With iron ore at a five-year low and iron ore futures retreating sharply through Asian trade, the likes of Fortescue Metals and Atlas Iron are significantly weaker. Key support levels have been breached and I would not suggest trying to pick the bottom in these stocks," wrote IG's market strategist Stan Shamu.
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After briefly touching a one-week high of 1,974, South Korean stocks lost early gains to finish little changed, on the back of nagging concerns over a weakening yen and its impact on domestic firms.
Earlier in the day, the country's Finance Minister said there was a "big concern about risks from yen weakness" and that the local economy's recovery was slightly weaker than previously thought, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the South Korean won fell to a fresh 14-month low of 1,106 late Wednesday.
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Wellington near record highs
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index notched up 0.3 percent to close near a new record high of 5,524. Among gainers, gold prospector Oceanagold bolstered 6.3 percent.