In our market news, Asian investor confidence that the worst of the financial crisis was over waned today.
Brokerage Lehman Brothers' difficulties in raising capital outweighed resource-related bullishness, with banks in Australia all declining.
Korean banks like Kookmin and Shinhan Financial also eased after Lehman's unexpectedly large $3.9 billion record quarterly loss and need to shed assets to stay alive.
Japanese giants Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho followed their regional peers, while the nation's biggest broker Nomura tumbled.
Japan's financial regulator denied it had asked banks to tighten lending to real estate companies, despite the collapse of a slew of mid-sized property developers and builders already this year.
With the decline in oil to near $100 a barrel, buying of regional airlines and transport firms supported the market.