Investors in Asia were cautious on Tuesday as oil prices recovered slightly and the US Federal Reserve prepares for its two-day meeting, which starts later.
The US central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates for the first time since June 2006.
Brent crude closed at $37.75 after falling below $36.40 a barrel – the lowest level in seven years.
US crude added 1.7% to close at $36.23 a barrel.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 opened flat but was later down 1% at 18,691.57. The index fell as much as 3% on Monday.
Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.24% at 4,940.30 points, boosted slightly by some of the country’s big lenders.
Westpac shares were up 0.5%, while Commonwealth Bank shares rose 0.3%.
Australian shares ended down for the fifth consecutive day on Monday weighed down by concerns about global oversupply of oil.
“The [oil] supply side is catching most of the market’s attention,” said IG Markets’ Evan Lucas on Tuesday.
“Iran added to the Saudi commentary overnight in looking to further increase its production.”
Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi index was flat, down 0.03% at 1,927.48.
In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.4% at 21,398.4 points, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.15% at 3,526.5 points.Shares of Hong Kong-listed Fosun International were making a recovery on Tuesday and were down just 0.7% after falling nearly 10% on Monday.
The firm’s chairman, Guo Guangchang, was detained by the police to assist Chinese authorities with an investigation.
Shares of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical also fell sharply on Monday, and were down 1.5% on Tuesday. The company is listed in Shanghai and is part of the Fosun group.