SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Sharemarkets in Asia were rocky on Wednesday following a violent sell-off on Wall Street a day earlier, which saw a frantic recovery late in the day.
"Unstable moves of the U.S. market overnight has made investors in Japan get worried about the outlook," Koichi Kurose, chief strategist at Resona Asset Management told Reuters Thomson in Tokyo on Wednesday
"Investors are rotating their targets now because of the rollouts of vaccines, which makes the virus-hit shares attractive."
The biggest mover was the Hang Seng in Hong Kong which at one stage was down well over 1,000 points. It recovered slightly to close down 914.40 points or 2.99 percent at 29,708.24.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 shed 484.33 points or 1.61 percent to close at 29,671.70.
The Australian All Ordinaries declined 61.40 points or 0.86 percent to 7,049.40.
China's Shanghai Composite finished down 72.28 points points or 1.99 percent at 3,564.04. Earlier the benchmark index had plunged more than 100 points..
Despite the rout in stocks, the U.S. dollar remained composed and little wanted. Against the euro it slipped to 1.2151 by the Sydney close Wednesday. The British pound was robust, rising to a near 3-year high of 1.4173. The Japanese yen weakened to 105.50. The Swiss franc dived to 0.9065.
The Canadian dollar was little changed at 1.2586. The Australian dollar was steady at the lofty height of 0.7911. The New Zealand dollar was super-strong at 0.7371.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones ended the day 15.66 points or 0.05 percent higher at 31,537.35.
The Standard and Poor's 500 added 4.87 points or 0.13 percent to 3,881.37.
The Nasdaq Composite closed down 67.85 points or 0.50 percent at 13,465.20.