Asian stocks were on edge on Wednesday with most markets stumbling as geopolitical tensions flared after Turkey downed a Russian fighter jet on Tuesday adding to investor nervousness that followed the attacks on Paris earlier this month, while crude oil prices eased from two-week highs, Reuters reported.
Australian shares dipped 0.5 percent, South Korea's Kospi lost 0.2 percent and Hong Kong's
Hang Seng dropped 0.5 percent., Japan's Nikkei shed 0.5 percent.
"The individual impact on the market from those events like the Paris attacks and heightened security in Brussels may be small, but there is also uncertainty that's worrying investors," said Masaru Hamasaki, head of market & investment information department at Amundi Japan.
Still, some of the markets in the region managed to hold their own even as the tense backdrop kept buyers at bay. Shanghai shares edged up 0.1 percent and Malaysian stocks also posted modest gains. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan stood flat.
"The conclusion would be Russia would not want to take this too much further at a time when its economy is seeing some green shoots after the past two years of sanctions," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, adding that Turkey is Russia's second-biggest energy customer.
The incident briefly sparked oil supply fears and sent crude prices surging overnight to 2-week highs.