Oil prices retreated during Asian hours on Wednesday, after finishing down more than 1 percent on Tuesday.
U.S. crude futures were down 1.40 percent at $49.26, after dropping 1.1 percent during the U.S. session. Global benchmark Brent fell 1.26 percent to $50.15 a barrel as of 1:26 p.m. HK/SIN, following a 1.3 percent overnight loss.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude stocks rose by 4.8 million barrels in the week ended October 21, higher than the 1.7 million barrel build forecast by analysts, according to Reuters.
Among other Asia-Pacific markets, the Kospi slipped 23.28 points, or 1.14 percent, to 2,013.89 amid local reports that said travel agencies in mainland China were reportedly ordered by provincial governments to reduce the number of tourists visiting South Korea, according to the Nikkei business daily.
The Nikkei said the news was reported by a South Korean newspaper, JoongAng Daily, which said travel agents had until the end of the month to turn in plans for reducing tourism.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bucked the generally negative regional trend to close up 26.59 points, or 0.15 percent, at 17,391.84.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index finished down 239.68 points, or 1.02 percent, at 23,325.43. Chinese mainland shares were also lower, with the Shanghai composite down 14.29 points, or 0.46 percent, at 3,117.64, while the Shenzhen composite fell 8.38 points, or 0.40 percent, to 2,069.36.
Major indexes in India, Singapore and Thailand also traded down.
In the currency market, the dollar traded at 98.75 against a basket of currencies as of 1:30 p.m. HK/SIN, after briefly pushing past the 99 handle in the previous session.
"The dollar is still seen supported by expectations for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to win the U.S. presidential election on 8 November, and a Fed hike on 14 December," said analysts at Singapore's DBS Bank in a note. They added there was also caution among market watchers as the dollar index approached the "ceiling of its broad 93-100 range set since early 2015."
Other currency majors traded mixed, with the yen at 104.31 against the dollar, a touch weaker than its last close of 104.22.
The Australian dollar rose to a session high of $0.7708, from levels below $0.7650 after consumer prices in the country edged up. As of 1:55 p.m. HK/SIN, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7692.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the consumer price index for the July-September quarter rose 0.7 percent on-quarter, compared with a rise of 0.4 percent in the May-June quarter. Prices rose 1.3 percent over the twelve months to the September quarter.
Analysts said the uptick reduced the likelihood of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) delivering another rate cut at its next policy meeting.
"The RBA will see today's pick up in quarterly inflation as a net positive from record low rates of 1.5 percent, so this pushes any concerns of further easing well back into 2017," said Matt Simpson, a senior market analyst at spreadbettor ThinkMarkets, in a note.
Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital, however, pointed out in a note that the inflation numbers were still very low, meaning there was still the possibility of a surprise rate cut, even though 2017 was more likely.
"It's not clear that [low inflation] has bottomed yet and the Australian dollar remains uncomfortably high, so it's premature to close the door on another rate cut," he said.