Asian equity markets were mixed amid choppy trade on Wednesday as the hunt for a bottom in oil prices continues, while nagging worries over Greece curbed trading sentiment. Shares in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur were among the biggest laggards in the region for the day.
Overnight, U.S. stocks settled lower as data pointing to a slowing growth in the U.S. service sector weighed on trading sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.7 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq declined 1.3 percent. The S&P 500 shed 0.9 percent, but managed to bounce back above 2,000 near the close of Tuesday's trade.
Oil prices remained near five-and-a-half year lows in early Asian trading on Wednesday as mounting fears over a supply glut persists. There were no signs of a turn-around, with Brent crude futures trading at $50.95 a barrel, down 15 cents from their last close.
"The oil sell-off will continue and, until oil finds bottoms, the markets will remain in a downward trajectory, wrote IG market strategist Evan Lucas. "With no major economic news due for a week in this region, Asia will blindly follow the U.S.'s lead."