Asia stocks were under pressure on Wednesday amid concerns over falling oil prices and Chinese growth, but Japanese markets continued to outperform the region.
Brent crude extended losses into a fifth session after hitting a four-year low on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia lowered the price of oil exported to the United States on Monday, while increasing the cost to Asia and Europe. "While oil prices have been a talking point lately, following sharp declines, they could easily snap back and just as easily spike once the current driving forces are out of the way. As a result, I don't find this to be a huge investment threat and don't feel this necessarily changes the [data dependent] themes dominating markets," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG. Meanwhile, HSBC's China services purchasing manager's index (PMI) for October hit a three-month low; the report follows data earlier this week showing mixed readings on China's manufacturing sector . Investors were also keeping an eye on U.S. mid-term elections, which saw the Republican Party win control of the Senate .Read More US stock market psyched for GOP win Nikkei 0.4% higher Japanese shares ended at a new seven-year peak following a choppy trading session, extending gains into a fifth straight session.Softbank (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 9984.T-JP) fell over 2 percent after cutting its full year operating profit forecast by 10 percent for the July-September period. It comes after Sprint, owned by the Japanese firm, reported a $765 million dollar quarterly loss in that period. Read More US will benefit most from Japan's pension fund reform Fast Retailing (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 9983.T-JP) jumped over 2 percent after reporting a 10.5 percent annual rise in same-store sales in October.Shanghai down 0.5% Mainland shares retreated from Tuesday's 20-month peak due to profit-taking, snapping a six-session winning streak. Read More Can mom-and-pop gamblers save Macau? Power stocks rose however after the State Grid Corporation of China said on Tuesday that the country had begun construction on a large-scale power project. Shenzhen Energy surged 10 percent and Guangxi Guidong Electric Power rallied over 7 percent. ASX flat Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 (^AXJO) index closed at a one-week low following Tuesday's modest gains. In earnings news, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA-AU) added 1 percent after posting a near 10 percent rise in cash profits for the July-September period and CSR (ASX:CSR-AU) rallied nearly 3 percent after reporting a 48 percent increase in first-half net profit.
Read More Australia's top lender posts 10% rise in profit Kospi slips 0.2% South Korean shares also closed at a one-week low, reversing earlier gains. But airline shares bucked the trend, with Korean Air up 2 percent and Asiana Airlines 5 percent higher.
Nifty up 0.1% India's broad Nifty index rose to new record high for the fourth consecutive session following Tuesday's public holiday.