Asian equities slid deeper into the red on Wednesday, after a preliminary reading of China's mammoth manufacturing sector fell to a six-and-a-half-year low of 47.0 in September, rekindling worries over the world's second-largest economy.
The downbeat sentiment persisted even as Chinese President Xi Jinping defended his country's growth pace and reassured the world that China's financial markets will remain stable in his first policy address during a state visit to the United States.
"The flash China PMI fell more than market participants [had] expected and the PMI is also well below the 50-point threshold, which reaffirms that Chinese economic activity continues to slow and this adding to global economic and financial concerns," Elias Haddad, senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, told CNBC Asia's "Street Signs."
An unimpressive handover from offshore markets also weighed on Asian bourses.
Major U.S. averages crashed more than 1 percent overnight, with materials shares among the hardest-hit due to a sell-off in commodities on the back of lingering worries about a slower-growing China.
News that Volkswagen would make a provision of $7.3 billion after allegations it cheated on vehicle emission tests sparked a global selloff in auto stocks. The Nasdaq Biotech Index also extended losses into a second day after U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would propose a monthly cap of $250 on prescription drugs.
Meanwhile, markets in Japan remain shuttered for the Autumn Equinox holiday and are set to reopen Thursday.