Asian markets experienced mixed fortunes on Tuesday following declines in the US and as slumping iron ore prices continued to hurt mining companies.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.95% at 5,226.40.
Analysts said iron ore prices were continuing to move towards the decade low reached earlier this year.
At least 18 people were killed and up to 150 trapped on Wednesday when a factory collapsed near the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials said, adding to a number of industrial disasters to hit the South Asian nation.
Rescue workers digging for survivors with construction equipment have recovered 75 injured people so far, said Mohammad Usman, a senior local government official who was on the scene.
China’s Central Bank has again cut the guiding rate for the national currency, the yuan, a day after Tuesday’s record 1.9% devaluation.
The move sent fresh shockwaves through Asian markets, but the bank has sought to calm fears, saying it was not the start of a sustained depreciation.
The yuan fell another 1% on Wednesday, marking the biggest two-day lowering of its rate against the dollar in more than two decades.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang lifted the wraps Tuesday on a multibillion-dollar series of trade and investment deals with Brazil, as Beijing looks to invest $53 billion in South America’s largest economy.
The news unveiled at the start of Li’s first official visit to Latin America is a huge boon for Brazil as it endures a fifth straight year of low growth after a period of rapid expansion fueled by Asian demand for commodities that has since slowed.
Nearly 800 desperate migrants from Burma and Bangladesh were rescued from a sinking vessel by fishermen off Indonesia’s coast on Friday as the boat people crisis in south-east Asia continued to escalate.
Human Rights Watch condemned Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia for playing a deadly game of “human ping pong” in refusing to allow more dangerously overladen boats carrying thousands fleeing poverty and persecution to land on their shores.