Asia Stumbles after Wall St. Plunge

Stocks in Asia declined on Wednesday after an overnight plunge on Wall Street as investors worried about a potential economic slowdown and the state of the U.S.-China trade war.

The Nikkei 225 lost 116.72 points, or 0.5%, to 21,919.33

Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 0.9% while Nomura declined by 3.3%

The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 112.99 against the U.S. dollar after strengthening from above 113.5 yesterday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index slid 440.76 points, or 1.6%, to 26,819.68.

In Hong Kong, HSBC fell 2.3% while China Construction Bank shed 1.3%.

Shares of vehicle maker Baic Motor dropped 10.3% following a Bloomberg report that Germany's Daimler is considering increasing its stake in its joint venture with the Chinese firm.

Markets turned lower in Australia, with most sectors seeing losses on the day. The moves came after the country's gross domestic product (GDP) data for the third quarter came in below expectations.

Australia's financial sub-index was down 1.3% as shares of the so-called Big Four banks declined: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 0.7%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 1.1%, Westpac fell 1.2%,while National Australia Bank lost 0.8%.

Real GDP expanded 0.3% on-quarter in the three months through September and 2.8% on-year, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.

Economists had expected 0.6% growth on quarter and a 3.3% on-year increase.

Following the release of the data, the Australian dollar fell 0.6% to trade at $0.7295 U.S. It had earlier seen a high of $0.7355.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dropped 15.71 points, or 0.5%, to 3,252

The Caixin Services Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures economic activity in China's services sector, rose to 53.8 in November — its highest in five months — as compared to 50.8 in October.

Earlier in the day, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website that the weekend meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was successful. The ministry also said the two countries will push ahead with negotiations within 90 days, and Beijing will work to address issues agreed upon as quickly as possible.

In other markets

In Taiwan, the Taiex index tumbled 166.8 points, or 1.7%, to 9,916.74

In Korea, the Kospi index skidded 13.04 points, or 0.6%, at 2,101.31

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index declined 11.87 points, or 0.4%, to 3,155.92

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 subtracted 84.23 points, or 1%, to 8,781.53

In Australia, the ASX 200 slid 44.79 points, or 0.8%, to 5,668.35