Asian share markets came under intense selling pressure on Tuesday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 index losing over 4 percent, following a steep retreat on Wall Street as below-view data intensified concerns about the health of China's economy.
In the previous trading session, official data showed profits earned by Chinese industrial companies fell 8.8 percent in August from a year earlier, underscoring persistent signs of headwinds in the world's second-biggest economy.
"[The sell-off today] is all about China," ING Financial Markets' head of research for Asia, Tim Condon, told CNBC. "The number yesterday has rekindled worries and [alongside the] weak data [in the U.S. overnight,] people thought that maybe what's happening in China is spilling over into the U.S."
Commodity shares were among the biggest casualties as fears of weaker Chinese demand sent prices of commodities tumbling. Further adding to the 'risk-off' sentiment was the near 30 percent slump in the London-listed shares of commodities and mining behemoth Glencore on Monday.
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"Markets were shaken by the sell-off in Glencore shares as investment analysts started to focus on the extent of the company's debt amid a sustained downturn in commodity prices," Mizuho analysts wrote in a note issued earlier in the trading session.
Major U.S. averages closed sharply lower overnight, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite leading losses with 3 percent slump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.9 percent, while the S&P 500 tumbled 2.6 percent to fall below the psychologically key level of 1,900 for the first time since August 26.