Asian shares traded mixed on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index lagging behind its regional peers after returning from a three-day national holiday earlier in the week.
The triple whammy of an uninspiring lead from Wall Street overnight, a modestly stronger yen and lackluster manufacturing activity out of Japan likely added to the nervousness of traders in Tokyo.
The Markit/Nikkei Japan flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) stood at 50.9 in September from a final 51.7 in August, data released on Thursday showed. The index remained above the 50 threshold that separates expansion from contraction for the fifth straight month, but fell for the first time in three months.
Major U.S. averages closed down slightly overnight, with materials shares among the hardest-hit for the second session as bleak factory activity data out of the world's top two economies added to growth fears.
China's flash Caixin PMI for September fell to a six-and-a-half-year low of 47.0 in September. Growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector showed no on-month change during September, staying at August's sluggish pace of 53, which was the weakest in almost two years, according to Markit's preliminary U.S. manufacturing PMI for September.