Asian shares outside South Korea were on the back foot on Thursday, as economic data out of the region's top two economies heightened concerns about growth.
Japan's core machinery orders fell 3.6 percent in July from a month earlier, missing expectations for a rise of 3.7 percent, underscoring the need for Bank of Japan (BOJ) to offer fresh stimulus.
Over in China, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 2 percent in August from a year earlier, beating expectations for a 1.8 percent gain and up from 1.6 percent in July. However, the producer price index (PPI) declined 5.9 percent, compared with an expected 5.5 percent drop and after a 5.4 percent decline in the previous month. This marks the 42nd consecutive month of declines.
"PPI is related to what's happening in the real economy because it affects the revenue and profit of the corporate sector, which in turn will affect fixed investment and overall growth," Grace Ng, senior China economist at JP Morgan, told CNBC Asia's "Squawk Box."
"So from that perspective, it is still very much of a concern with PPI stuck in negative territory," Ng said.
An unimpressive lead from Wall Street also weighed on sentiment. Major U.S. averages ended down more than 1 percent overnight, on the back of selling pressure in Apple and energy-related counters. The blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 lost 1.45 and 1.35 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite closed down 1.15 percent.