[TOKYO] Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday as sliding oil prices continued to cut risk appetites and offset Japan's better-than-expected machinery orders data.
The Nikkei share average declined 1 per cent to 19,301.07, its lowest closing since Nov 6.
The Topix subindex for insurance shares shed 1.7 per cent after Barclays cut its target price recommendation for a number of major insurance companies.
Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co Ltd shares slipped 3.4 per cent after its target price was cut to 2,250 yen from 2,500 yen, while T&D Holdings Inc fell 2.6 per cent after a reduction to 1,800 yen from 2,000 yen.
The broader Topix slipped 0.8 per cent to end the day at 1,555.58 with all but five of its 33 subindexes down.
The JPX-Nikkei Index 400 fell 0.9 per cent to 13,995.29.