Overnight, oil prices fell over 3 percent. During Asian trade, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures saw some uptick, trading 0.14 percent higher at $36.65 a barrel. The global benchmark Brent futures was up slightly at $36.63 a barrel.
Major U.S. indexes closed in the red, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 117.11 points, or 0.66 percent, at 17,604. The S&P 500 finished 0.72 percent lower at 2,063 while the Nasdaq Composite index shed 0.82 percent to close at 5,066.
The Japanese and South Korean markets remain closed today. On Wednesday, the Nikkei 225 rounded off a 9.3 percent gain for 2015.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed early on Thursday, ending the day narrowly higher and down on the year by 7.2 percent.
The stock market in Singapore will also shut earlier than usual on Thursday.
Australia market sheds 2 percent for the year
The ASX 200 finished the final trading day of the year in the red, down 24 points, or 0.45 percent, at 5,295. For the whole year, the index shed 2.13 percent.
"In real terms, the performance of the index has been incredibly disappointing, only gaining 1.5% over the past five years for a compound annual growth rate of only 0.3%.," said Angus Nicholson, market analyst at spreadbetter IG, adding, "Of course, when one factors in dividend reinvestments the total return of the index has been somewhat better."
Shares of major Australian banks closed down between 0.05 and 0.43 percent.
Resources producers were also mostly down with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, two of the biggest miners in the country, closed 0.16 and 1.27 percent lower, respectively. For the whole year, Rio Tinto shares were down 23 percent while BHP shares fell 49 percent.