Earlier in Asia, Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 0.2 percent to 9,238.10 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.4 percent at 21,277.2. Seoul's Kospi fell 1.4 percent to 1,997.45. China's Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 2,356.86.
In the oil markets, prices fell alongside equities despite ongoing concerns about developments in the Persian Gulf and conflicting reports about whether Iran is cutting crude exports to Europe — the benchmark New York rate was down 56 cents at a barrel at $101.26.
Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.
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