Asian markets ended mostly lower Thursday as financials slipped on worries over bank earnings, and after a drop in U.S. durable goods stoked concerns the world's top economy is already in a recession. Both Japan and China finished weaker.
Further signs the U.S. economy is flagging, and worries that there will be more bank write-downs after a prominent analyst downgraded four major U.S. banks, were compounded by inflation concerns as oil prices headed higher, and investors took refuge in bonds.
Bank shares, such as Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ and Australia's Babcock & Brown, were among the biggest fallers, following the bank downgrades, a profit warning from Deutsche Bank and comments from European central bankers that there was no end in sight to the global credit
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average fell 0.8 percent, with electronic parts maker TDK plunging nearly 8 percent on a newspaper report that it would possibly miss its earnings forecast. Toyota Motor and other exporters lost ground on the firmer yen and concerns about a recession in the United States, a key destination for Asian exports. Gains in oil and commodity prices boosted oil and gas field developer Inpex Holdings and gold and copper producer Sumitomo Metal Mining, helping cushion some of the market's fall.