In a speech at the Economic Club of New York, U.S. President Donald Trump said the signing of an initial trade deal was close, but did not offer further details on dates or the terms of the agreement.
"Risk aversion appears to be creeping back into the markets," Han Tan, a market analyst at brokerage FXTM, said in a note.
Asian stocks fell despite their U.S. counterparts tantalisingly close to setting record highs, as investors continue to sieve through potential signals from the noise surrounding the trade deal, he wrote.
Curbing risk appetite further, anti-government protests continued to cause disruption in Hong Kong. The Hang Seng fell nearly 2% to a four-week low in late trade.
Singapore shares closed 0.9% lower. Hongkong Land Holdings, a property manager with large assets in Hong Kong, fell 3.4% and was among the top percentage losers.
Conglomerate Jardine Strategic Holdings, which also has significant interests in the Greater China region and is the majority stakeholder in Hongkong Land, traded 4% lower.
Philippine stocks posted deep losses, dragged by heavyweights like Globe Telecom Inc and Ayala Corp, which fell 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively.
Indonesian stocks traded 0.6% lower, dragged by consumer stocks like household products maker Unilever Indonesia Tbk and animal feed maker Charoen Pokphand Indonesia Tbk.
An index of Indonesia's 45 most liquid stocks <.JKLQ45> declined 1%.
Malaysian stocks slid 0.8%, dragged by a 5.4% drop in index heavyweight Petronas Chemicals Group, after the chemicals maker posted a steep fall in third-quarter profit.
By Rashmi Ashok