Asia Declines Across the Board

Asia markets fell sharply almost across the board on Wednesday as the main index in Japan lost heavily

The Nikkei 225 index’s tumbled 445.34 points, or 2%, to 22,177.04, its biggest percentage drop since late March.

The Hang Seng Index jettisoned 618 points, or 2.1%, to 28,224.80

Shares of Samsung Heavy Industries plunged and finish a whopping 28.9% lower. The company had said it was planning a 1.5 trillion Korean won ($1.38 billion U.S.) rights offering by May 2018. The rights issue was aimed at improving the company's financial structure and to allocate new shares to existing shareholders

Media also reported that the company said in a regulatory filing that it expected an operating loss of 240 billion won ($220 million U.S.) next year, from a loss of 490 billion this year.

Among other currency majors, the Japanese yen traded at 112.04 U.S. The Australian dollar was at $0.7581 U.S. late afternoon, slipping from an earlier high of $0.7616 after the county's third-quarter gross domestic product data narrowly missed forecasts.

Australian markets lost ground, as the materials and energy sectors fell 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively.

Major miners closed lower: Shares of Rio Tinto fell 2.5%, Fortescue Metal was down 1.3% and BHP lost 2%. Other miners also fell, with South32 shares sliding 4.1%

Australia's economy grew 0.6 percent in seasonally adjusted terms for the September quarter, following a 0.9 percent increase in the April-June period, according to the country's Bureau of Statistics.

That number narrowly missed market predictions for 0.7% growth in the quarter.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its cash rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5%. In its policy statement, the central bank said it expected the economy to grow on average around 3% over the next few years, with an improved outlook for non-mining business investment and increased public infrastructure investment.

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 24.35 points, or 0.6%, to 4,015.82

Also of note for traders: Copper futures in Shanghai fell 3.1% in afternoon trade, tracking declines in London prices — in the early hours of the Asian trading day, copper prices in London were down some 4.3%. Some traders attributed the decline to profit taking in the market.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index dropped 35.75 points, or 1.4%, to 2,474.37

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index lost 172.93 points, or 1.6%, to 10,393.92

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index fell 40.85 points, or 1.2%, to 3,397.21

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 retreated 45.35 points, or 0.6%, to 8,130.86

In Australia, the ASX 200 subtracted 26.11 points, or 0.4%, to 5,945.71