SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Concern about surging coronavirus cases across the world put a cap on share trading in Asia On Wednesday.
"Renewed concerns about the global economic recovery weighed on commodity prices and commodity currencies. Many countries around the world, such as India and Brazil, set new records for infections and deaths," analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a research note, according to Reuters Thomson.
"As long as the virus persists, there is a risk virus mutants develop and spread to other countries."
The biggest damage was in Japan where the Nikkei 225 plunged 591.83 points or 2.03 percent to 28,508.55.
The Australian All Ordinaries lost 23/.30 points or 0.32 percent to 7,258.80.
China's Shanghai Composite was unchanged at 3,472.93.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng plummeted 513.81 points or 1.76 percent to 28,621.92.
The U.S. dollar was little changed but for a firmer bias on Wednesday during the Asian trading zone. By the Sydney close, the euro had drifted a tad lower to 1.2017. The British pound inched down to 1.3919. The Japanese yen was a touch lower at 108.07. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9167.
The Canadian dollar sank to 1.2593. The Australian dollar dipped to 0.7712. The New Zealand dollar edged down to 0.7174.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials ended the day down 256.33 points or 0.75 percent at 33,821.30.
The Standard and Poor's 500 fell 28.32 points or 0.32 percent to 4,134.94.
The Nasdaq Composite shed 128.50 points or 0.92 percent to 13,786.27.