Asian stocks sank on Monday amid growing concerns of a slowdown in the global economy.
Investors dumped stocks in favour of safer bonds, driving Japan’s Nikkei index down more than 3%.
The losses in Asia tracked a global stock sell-off on Friday, fuelled by downbeat data and a cautious Federal Reserve.
Unusual moves in the US bond market have also raised concerns about a possible US recession.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index dropped 3.1% to 20,948.37.
In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6% and the Shanghai Composite lost 1% in afternoon trading.
“Asian markets are taking clues from [the] sharp decline in US equities on Friday,” CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said.
“The selloff is unlikely to cease until the US markets stop bleeding.”
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Downbeat data from the US and Europe, combined with a cautious tone from the Federal Reserve, frightened investors last week.
The first inversion in the US bond yield curve since 2007 also heightened concerns, by raising fears of a recession in the world’s largest economy.
The bonds, known as Treasuries in the US, are issued as a form of borrowing by governments to fund spending.
For the first time in more than 10 years, the rate of return (yield) on three-month US bonds rose above 10-year yields, something which is seen as an indicator that a recession could be coming.
Asia stocks: Markets sink as global growth jitters spread}