澳大利亚股市标普/ ASX 200指数下跌百分之一多一点，收盘时为4,775.70。上海、香港、台北和首尔股市因为农历新年而休市。
Japanese Stocks Again Fall Sharply
Japanese stocks sustained another day of huge losses Wednesday thanks to investor worries about the financial health of European banks ahead of key congressional testimony by the head of the U.S. central bank.
One day after losing a staggering 918 points, or 5.40 percent, the Nikkei index dropped 372 points, or 2.3 percent, to end the day at 15,713.39, its lowest mark since October 2014. The Nikkei is down just over 10 percent this month, placing the index in "bear market" territory.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 dropped just over one percent to close at 4,775.70. Indexes in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul remained closed for the Lunar New Year.
Investors are questioning whether some of Europe's biggest banks have sufficient capital reserves on hand to buffer against a slump in their share prices.
The current state of the U.S. economy, as well as the outlook for interest rate increases, growth and unemployment, are on the agenda Wednesday and Thursday when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before key congressional committees.
Romania Upholds 20-year Term for Communist-era Criminal
Romanian appeals court has upheld a 20-year jail term for a man who ran a notorious communist-era prison and was convicted of crimes against humanity.
The Bucharest High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal from 90-year-old Alexandru Visinescu, who was convicted in July 2015. He ran the Ramnicu Sarat prison for political detainees, where all prisoners were kept in solitary confinement, could not speak to each other, and were starved and beaten.
Visinescu's lawyers said he was only obeying orders and did not break the law.
Supporters of the ruling say it sets an important precedent for communist-era crimes. Besides Visinescu, the only other person who has been charged with crimes against humanity from Romania's brutal Soviet Bloc days is dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was tried and executed in 1989.