Hong Kong stocks tumbled again on Wednesday as energy and technology firms suffered hefty losses and global investors stepped up selling on news that US President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump is set to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, ignoring dire warnings of a historic misstep that could trigger a surge of violence in the Middle East.
The Hang Seng Index sank 2.1 percent, to close at 28,224. The market has lost more than 6 percent since hitting a 10-year high just a fortnight ago.
On the mainland, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3 percent, to 3,293. But the Shenzhen Composite Index climbed 0.7 percent, to end at 1,879.
The key Nikkei 225 index fell nearly 2 percent, to 22,177, suffering the biggest point loss this year. Seoul gave up 1.4 percent, while Taipei shed 1.6 percent and Wellington dropped 0.6 percent.
The tech sector, which has been the best performer this year, was again in the red on profit-taking and as dealers shifted to firms more likely to benefit from lower US taxes.
Tencent dived 2.7 percent and AAC technologies was 7.3 percent lower, extending a profit-taking slump that kicked in last month.
Oil prices were hit by data showing a big rise in US inventories.
Sydney-listed miner Rio Tinto shed 2.5 percent and BHP was 2 percent off, while energy giant Woodside Petroleum lost 0.3 percent. CNOOC, Sinopec and PetroChina dived in Hong Kong while Inpex was hammered more than 3 percent in Tokyo.
Bitcoin hit another record high of US$12,519 as the cryptocurrency continues to attract interest from investors, having risen 15-fold since mid-January. (AFP)