Asian bourses slid again on Thursday, as falling oil prices and a worse-than-expected monthly indicator from Japan reinforced jitters about a sluggish global economy.
Japan's leading gauge of capital spending snapped a four-month rising streak in October. Core machinery orders fell 6.4 percent on month, worse than expectations for a 2.4 percent decline in a Reuters poll and slower than September's 2.9 percent increase. Year-on-year, machinery orders fell 4.9 percent in October, worse than expectations for a 0.3 percent decline.
Providing some relief is the announcement of Australia's employment data. For the month of November, the country added 42,700 jobs, above the 15,000 forecast by Reuters, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed on Thursday. The jobless rate was 6.3 percent, up from 6.2 percent in October.
Meanwhile, South Korea's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for a second straight month on Thursday, in line with expectations, while observing the effects from its two rate cuts this year. Monetary policy decisions in the Philippines and Indonesia are also due late Thursday and no change is expected.
Wall Street overnight
U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday as the price of crude fell to a new five-year low and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its demand outlook for next year.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst day since October 9, closing down 1.5 percent at a one-month low. The S&P 500 also put up its worst performance since October 13, ending down 1.6 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.7 percent.