China Shares Tumble

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region mostly traded lower on Wednesday, as economic fears continue to weigh on the market.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 96.76 points, or 0.4%, to 26,149.55.

The Bank of Japan, after maintaining its ultra-low interest rates last week, released the minutes from its April monetary policy meeting on Wednesday morning.

Most members of BOJ policy board expect short-term and long-term interest rates to remain at their present levels or lower, the minutes added.

The Japanese yen crossed the 136 level on Tuesday and was last at 136.19 against the greenback. The currency has been weakening as the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy diverges from that of the Fed.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index crumbled 551.25 points, or 2.6%, to 21,008.34. Alibaba slipped 4.2% and Meituan fell 4.6%.

Korean stocks took a pounding, as SK Hynix was down 3.2% and Naver dropped 4.4%.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6887, after falling from levels above $0.702 late last week.

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 shed 54.25 points, or 1.3%, to 4,270.62.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index pointed lower 24.17 points, or 0.8%, to 3,093.31.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index swooned 380.89 points, or 2.4%, to 15,347.75.

In Korea, the Kospi let go of 66.12 points, or 2.7%, to 2,342.81.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dumped 22.92 points, or 0.2%, to 10,678.67.

In Australia, fell 15.26 points, or 0.2%, to 6,508.54.