Asia Mostly Down, Japan Walloped

Asia-Pacific markets fell across the board on Wednesday following an overnight selloff on Wall Street.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 cratered 790.02 points, or 2.8%, to 27,467.23.

Shares of Japanese conglomerate Sony tumbled 12.79% after Microsoft on Tuesday said it is buying video game publisher Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion U.S. — it is set to be the biggest U.S. tech deal ever, eclipsing the 2016 Dell-EMC merger.

Sony, which makes the PlayStation gaming consoles, competes with Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. Last year, Microsoft completed a $7.5 billion acquisition of game maker Bethesda.

The Japanese yen changed hands at 114.38 per U.S. dollar, strengthening from an earlier level around 114.78.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong regained 15.07 points, or 0.1%, to 24,127.85.

Shares of embattled cruise operator Genting Hong Kong was suspended until further notice. In a regulatory filing, Genting said it was filing to wind up the company and apply for the appointment of provisional liquidators as it was unable to secure funds needed to stay afloat.

Genting said its available cash balances are expected to run out on or around end of January. Earlier this month, the company warned it may not be able to pay its debts and other obligations after its German shipbuilding subsidiary MV Werften filed for insolvency.

The cruise business, which is operated by Dream Cruises, is expected to continue "in order to preserve and protect the core assets and maintain the value of the Group," Genting said.

Australian stocks were punished as most sectors finished lower. The heavily weighted financials sub-index declined 1.4% as the country’s major bank names sold off.

The Australian dollar traded fractionally higher at $0.7185.

In other markets

In China, the CSI 300 reversed 32.97 points, or 0.7%, to 4,780.38.

In Korea, the Kospi index slipped 21.96 points, or 0.8%, to 2,842.28.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index swooned 151.18 points, or 0.8%, to 18,227.46

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index squeezed ahead 3.9 points, or 0.1%, to 3,283.94.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 202.15 points, or 1.6%, to 12,612.31.

In Australia, the ASX 200 lost 76.28 points, or 1%, at 7,332.50.