Asian stocks fell on Tuesday as optimism on U.S.-China trade talks faded and caution set in ahead of the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Investors also awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress for fresh clues about the outlook for U.S. interest rates.
Chinese shares fell on profit taking after strong gains in the previous session. The benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 19.77 points or 0.67 percent to 2,941.52 after climbing as much as 5.6 percent to enter a bull market the previous day. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended down 187.24 points or 0.65 percent at 28,772.06.
Japanese shares inched lower amid selling pressure owing to window-dressing towards the end of the fiscal year.
The Nikkei average slid 78.84 points or 0.37 percent to 21,449.39 after touching as high as 21,610.88, the highest level since mid-December, earlier in the day. The broader Topix index closed 0.23 percent lower at 1,617.20.
Yamaha, TDK, Nippon Sheet Glass, Kubota, Nissan Chemical Industries and Inpex dropped 2-4 percent.
Defensive shares witnessed some buying, with Tokyo Electric Power Co rising 1.2 percent and Daiichi Sankyo rallying 2.8 percent. Izutsuya soared 11.2 percent after raising its operating profit forecast.
Australian markets fell, with resource stocks sliding as Trump offered mixed messages on a trade deal with China.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 57.90 points or 0.94 percent to 6,128.40 while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 54.60 points or 0.87 percent at 6,209.
Oil Search and Origin energy dropped more than 1 percent after oil prices fell more than 3 percent in their largest single-day drop this year following U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet telling OPEC that prices are getting too high.
Santos lost 2.6 percent and WorleyParsons declined 3.6 percent on going ex-dividend. Caltex Australia bucked the downward trend to end up 4.7 percent on solid full-year results.
A fall in iron ore prices weighed on the mining sector, with heavyweights BHP and Rio Tinto falling 1.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Alumina plunged more than 8 percent on going ex-dividend.
Vitamin manufacturer Blackmores tumbled 3.9 percent after the sudden resignation of its chief executive. Retailer Wesfarmers fell 7.2 percent on going ex-dividend.
Seoul stocks closed lower ahead of historical second summit between the United States and North Korea slated for Wednesday and Thursday.
The benchmark Kospi dropped 5.96 points or 0.27 percent to 2,226.60, dragged down by tech stocks such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics.
New Zealand shares fell slightly, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ending down 21.50 points or 0.23 percent at 9,323.13. Tourism Holdings slumped as much as 6.7 percent after posting lower half-year net profit.
U.S. stocks rose overnight after President Trump announced he would delay U.S. tariffs on China and plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to conclude a trade agreement.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.2 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4 percent while the S&P 500 rose 0.1 percent.