Oil price worries hit stocks in Asia for the second day
Worries over falling oil prices weighed on investor confidence in Asia for a second day on Wednesday.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 spent the day in negative territory and closed down 3.15% at 17,191.25 points.
In Hong Kong, shares continued to lose ground in afternoon trade, with the Hang Seng down 2.8% to 18,916.19 points.
The mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite was in negative territory too, down 1.6% at 2,706.49 points.
West Texas Intermediate - the US benchmark - lost 5.5% overnight to fall below the $30 mark, while Brent crude closed down 4.5% to about $32.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was weighed down by energy stocks together with the country's big lenders.
The Sydney index closed down 2.33% at 4,876.80. BHP shares lost 4.4%, Rio Tinto shares closed down 1.4%, while Santos shares shed more than 5%.
The country's big four banks were down too, with the National Australia Bank the biggest loser, down more than 5.5%.
The lender announced its final offer price for the float of its UK business - the Clydesdale Bank - at the lower end of the initial price range.
The £1.6bn ($2.3bn) flotation of Clydesdale Bank was postponed on Tuesday for 24 hours. On Tuesday evening, the bank confirmed the IPO share price at 180p, valuing it at £1.58bn.
Meanwhile, South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.8% at 1,890.67. Investors seemed little swayed by news the government was set to introduce fresh economic stimulus measures.
The won extended its losses on Wednesday to hit a near five-and-a-half year low, also hurting investor sentiment.
South Korea's government unveiled its latest stimulus measures following a raft of disappointing economic data for the export-dependent nation.
The stimulus packages will include an extra 6tn Korean won ($4.94bn; £3.42bn) in public spending as well as an an extension of existing tax cuts on cars, among other measures.