Asian equities declined on Thursday as investors focused on key Chinese manufacturing data and sliding oil prices.
China's HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index (PMI) rose to a three-month high of 50.4 in October, but factory output fell to a five-month low. The report comes amid speculation of additional stimulus measures to boost growth after third-quarter gross domestic product hit a more than five-year low.
"While the manufacturing sector likely stabilized in October, the economy continues to show signs of insufficient effective demand. This warrants further policy easing and we expect more easing measures on both the monetary as well as fiscal fronts in the months ahead," said Hongbin Qu, China chief economist, and co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC.
Energy firms across the region declined as oil prices extended losses on Thursday. In the previous session, U.S. crude approached a two-year low following a jump in oil stockpiles.
Meanwhile, a shooting in Canada also unnerved investors. A gunman attacked the Parliament building and a Canadian solider was shot at a war memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday. The gunman in the Parliament, identified as a 32-year old convert to Islam, was killed by police, but authorities said they could not confirm whether both attacks were done by the same individual.