Apple and Google headlined earnings movers late, with a key Fed meeting on tap Wednesday. Leading stocks fell Tuesday.
Infections in Australia's largest city remain stubbornly high, despite five weeks of restrictions.
Asian shares stayed stuck at seven-month lows on Wednesday, as markets continued to digest a storm in Chinese equity markets, while the dollar rested with traders reluctant to place large bets ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.35% in early trading, having fallen in each of the three previous sessions as regulatory crackdowns in China roiled stocks in the technology, property and education sectors, leaving international investors bruised. Japan's Nikkei slid 1.01%, Chinese bluechips dropped 1.51%, and Australian shares fell 0.43%.