Those losses came on the back of declines on Wall Street seen after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday. The dollar had also taken a hit following the news.
"Global risk appetite may continue to wane on the back of U.S. President Trump's latest reshuffle to suddenly oust Tillerson," OCBC Treasury Research analysts said in a note.
"The instability of the White House staff reinforced market uncertainty about Trump's future policy moves, especially on trade."
CIA Director Mike Pompeo will be taking on the role.
"[Tillerson's] departure has left some worrying that it provides a green light to those in office pushing for more protectionist measures," said ANZ Research analysts in an early morning note.
Stocks stateside had initially traded higher early in the session after the release of inflation data. Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent last month, meeting forecasts and easing concerns about tighter monetary policy due to inflationary pressures.
Meanwhile, data released on Wednesday showed Japan core machinery orders, a volatile metric, for January rose 8.2 percent on month and 2.9 percent on year, beating forecasts, Reuters reported. The Topix machinery index was down 0.75 percent, with Komatsu lower by 1.51 percent.
In corporate news, embattled commodities firm Noble Group on Wednesday announced it had secured a binding restructuring support agreement with creditors representing 46 percent of its debt. Shares of the company were up 6.45 percent by 3:11 p.m. HK/SIN.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rivals, was mostly flat at 89.665 at 3:02 p.m. HK/SIN. The dollar eased against the yen to trade at 106.53 after trading as high as 106.74 earlier in the session.
While Bank of Japan policymakers thought it was appropriate for the central bank to "persistently pursue powerful monetary easing," some members said it was important to monitor side effects of current policy, according to minutes of the BOJ's January meeting.
The Australian dollar traded at $0.7876, firming from levels around the $0.786 handle after the release of strong China data.
— CNBC's Eamon Javers and Kevin Brueninger contributed to this report.