SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks in Asia were dumped on Wednesday, despite a strong rally on Wall Street overnight.
Persistent fears of rising inflation continued to block rallies on Asian bourses, with news that UK inflation has hit a 40-year high just as the Asian markets were winding down.
The U.S. dollar perked up however it was outshone by, believe it or not, the Russian rouble. The Russian currency jumped 1.40 percent to 53.07, a 7-year high against the rallying dollar.
The biggest loser percentage-wise on Wednesday was South Korea's Kospi Composite which dived 66.12 points or 2.74 percent to 2,342.81.
Not far behind was the Hang Seng in Hong Kong, which closed down 551.25 points or 2.56 percent at 21,008.34.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 96.76 points or 0.37 percent to 26,149.55.
Australia's All Ordinaries retreated 18.80 points or 0.28 percent to 6,682.30.
In China, the Shanghai Composite fell 39.52 points or 1.20 percent to 3,267.20.
New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 dropped 22.92 points or 0.21 percent to 10,678.67.
On foreign exchange markets the U.S. dollar bounced up again. The euro crumbled to 1.0502 by the Sydney close Wednesday. The British pound slumped to 1.2193. The Japanese yen was mired at 24-year lows around 136.24. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9676.
The Canadian dollar was sharply lower at 1.2981, as was the Australian dollar at 0.6897. The New Zealand dollar weakened to 0.6258.
Surprisingly, however, due to tightening capital controls, the Russian Rouble upstaged the ever-stronger dollar with its 1.40 percent gain against the greenback, propelling it to a seven-year high, making it the strongest of the world's currencies.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials advanced 641.47 points or 2.15 percent to 30,530.25.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 270.95 points or 2.51 percent to 4,069.30.
The Standard and Poor's 500 added 89.95 points or 2.45 percent to 3,764.79.