Most Asian stock markets fell Wednesday amid worries about Europe’s debt problems, Korean tensions and disappointing growth in Australia.
Oil prices rose above $84 a barrel amid the release of surveys showing China’s manufacturing boom accelerated in November.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was down less than 0.1 percent to 9,935.86, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.4 percent to 22,927.99, and the Shanghai Composite index fell 0.3 percent to 2,812.31.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.3 percent at 4,570.4 after data showed the country’s gross domestic product expanded just 0.2 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months.
“Trading is sluggish today. Investors are on the sidelines waiting to see what happens in Korea and the European debt situation,” said Linus Yip, a strategist in Hong Kong for First Shanghai Securities.
In China, investors were watching for a possible rate hike to cool inflation, which might slow rapid growth and rein in liquidity that is helping to support share prices.