Australian shares tracked tech stocks and miners to close lower on Wednesday as investors waited for U.S inflation data later in the day to gauge the Federal Reserve's stance on further monetary policy tightening.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.53% lower at 6,992.7. The benchmark rose 0.13% on Tuesday.
Technology stocks tumbled 3.8% to lead the losses following sharp declines overnight in their Wall Street peers.
"The equity market seesawed today as traders digested the resurgence of recession talk from the Wall Street tech sector last night" said Hebe Chen, market analyst at IG Markets.
ASX-listed shares of Block Inc fell 6.04%.
Global markets have wavered this week ahead of U.S inflation reading that could provide clues on whether the Fed would embrace another super-sized interest rate hike in September.
Miners lost 1% on falling iron ore prices as uncertainty over demand prospects in top steel producer China kept traders cautious.
Iron ore behemoths BHP and Rio Tinto fell nearly 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively.
Financial stocks jumped 0.5% and were the only gainers on the benchmark, with three of the big four banks ending in positive territory.
Commonweath Bank of Australia slipped 0.3% after saying spiralling cost-of-living pressures had started to hit consumer confidence.
"I won't be surprised if ASX traders chose to stay in an extra cautious manner by the end of this week," Chen added, linking it to jobs data next week that is likely to give cues on the Reserve Bank of Australia's path on rate hikes.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed down 0.01% at 11752.09.
A2 Milk was among the top losers, tumbling 7.5% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deferred its request to sell infant milk formula products in the country. (Reporting By Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)