Among the country's "Big Four" banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China declined 1.2 percent in Shanghai while smaller rival Bank of Beijing dropped 2.5 percent.
South Korean shares closed flat on Wednesday, paring gains in thin trade as some purchases made before the ex-dividend date, on Thursday, were offset by uncertainty, including questions over U.S. fiscal talks.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index inched up 0.02 percent to end at 1,982.2 points.
Blue-chips closed mixed. Heavyweight Samsung Electronics pared earlier gains to close down 0.3 percent at 1.47 million won per share, edging further away from to its lifetime high of 1.533 million won reached on Dec. 13.
Shares in electric power and gas companies were bullish with state utility Korea Electric Power up 1.7 percent while Korea Gas rose 2 percent.
But mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT Corp and LG Uplus all fell at least 0.4 percent after South Korea's telecommunications regulator on Monday decided to ban the carriers from attracting new subscribers for a combined 66 days.
Over in Southeast Asia, Singapore's Straits Times Index closed 0.4 percent higher while Malaysia's KLCI Composite Index ended up 0.1 percent.
Both India's BSE Index and the the 50-share NSE Index finished 0.9 percent higher.