The United States posted a record single-day jump of more than 1,800 coronavirus deaths, while France has officially registered more than 10,000 fatalities so far.
The day's losses halted a rally in equities over the past two sessions on early optimism that the virus could be peaking.
A fall in energy stocks pushed the Thai benchmark 0.8% lower on Wednesday, with PTT and PTT Exploration and Production falling at least 4% each.
Leading losses in the region, Indonesian equities slumped 3.2%, with financials weighing on the benchmark index. PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk and PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk both fell 7%.
Beginning Friday, Indonesia's capital Jakarta will impose large-scale social restrictions including closures of schools and workplaces to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the hardest hit area of the country.
Singaporean stocks shed 1.3%, with big cap conglomerates Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd falling 3.8% and Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd slipping 1.5%.
The Malaysian index fell 0.6%, dragged lower by power utility Tenaga Nasional, down 2%.
Philippine equities ended 2.5% lower.
On the upside, Vietnamese shares recovered from early losses and posted a sixth straight session of gains.
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SOUTHEAST ASIAN STOCK MARKETS
Change on the
Market Current Previous Pct Move
Singapore 2539.44 2571.89 -1.26
Bangkok 1205.77 1214.95 -0.76
Manila 5510.83 5650.01 -2.46
Jakarta 4626.695 4778.639 -3.18
Kuala Lumpur 1361.39 1369.92 -0.62
Ho Chi Minh 748.02 746.69 0.18
Change so far
Market Current End 2019 Pct Move
Singapore 2539.44 3222.83 -21.20
Bangkok 1205.77 1579.84 -23.68
Manila 5510.83 7,815.26 -29.49
Jakarta 4626.695 6,299.54 -26.56
Kuala Lumpur 1361.39 1588.76 -14.31
Ho Chi Minh 748.02 960.99 -22.16
By Arundhati Dutta