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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 15, 2016.Reuters file

Asian shares declined on Wednesday as the resignation of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn fanned global trade-war concerns.

The exit of Cohn, seen as a key advocate for free trade within the Trump administration, said on Tuesday he was leaving.

Soon after his resgination, the White House said it's considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports, Bloomberg reported.

Republicans, including House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Kevin Brady had urged Trump to reconsider the planned tarriffs on imported steel and aluminum.

Mirroring the concerns, benchmarks declined in Japan and Australia and S&P 500 Index futures dropped over 1 percent.

Back home, SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the Nifty 50's trend in India, signals a weak start for the domestic markets after the benchmark Sensex declined 429 points or 1.27 percent to close at 33,317 on Tuesday.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 64.96 on Tuesday, up 0.24 percent from its previous close of 65.11.

So far this year, the rupee weakened 1.8 percent, while foreign investors have bought $173 million and $877 million in equity and debt markets, respectively.

Policy decisions: European Central Bank monetary policy decision on Thursday followed by Bank of Japan policy decision and briefing on Friday.

China GDP: China on Monday kept its 2018 economic growth target of around 6.5 percent. The outlook was released ahead of Premier Li Keqiang's report to the National People's Congress gathering in Beijing.

Crude check: Brent crude declined 0.59 percent at $65.40 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.6 percent at $62.22 a barrel.