Asian shares fell to new two-year lows Thursday as further signs of a slowing global economy -- from the euro zone to Japan -- hit sectors, such as technology, that rely on exports.
The euro traded near an eight-month low against the dollar as investors trimmed their positions ahead of the European Central Bank's interest rate decision later. Oil prices fell on concerns over weakening global demand. Crude fell further below $109 a barrel despite Hurricane Ike strengthening on its way towards the southeast U.S. coast
Japan's Nikkei 225 Average fell 1 percent to a five-month closing low on Thursday, dragged down by Tokyo Electron and other tech shares as worries grew
about tech spending in the face of increasing economic gloom. Shares of Nippon Electric Glass and Asahi Glass tumbled after rival Corning cut its outlook on slower-than-expected demand for glass used in flat TVs.
Seoul shares closed slightly lower with economic worries sending technology issues lower, but Kookmin Bank rallied on hopes its plans to adopt a holding company structure will proceed smoothly.
Australian shares fell 1.6 percent on, dragged down by miners and energy companies as metals and oil prices fell.
Hong Kong shares fell 1 percent on persistent worries about slowing economic and earnings growth, with China Communications Construction plummeting to its lowest level in more than 15 months on broker downgrades. China's top builder of highways and ports tumbled 13.7 percent as analysts forecast softening investment growth in China's construction sector and further raw material price hikes.
Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 3 percent to hit a fresh 22-month low as fears of a slowing global economy weighed on financial and property stocks. Property heavyweight City Developments dropped 5.9 percent, while top lender DBS Group shed 1.2 percent.
China's Shanghai Composite Index closed flat, but was flirting with major chart support because of worries about the strength of the economy.