Asian stock markets declined Wednesday, following an overnight slump in Wall Street as renewed global growth fears and negative comments from one of the non-voting Fed members weighed on the sentiment.
Japanese benchmark Nikkei tumbled 1.87 percent or 170.20 points to 8921.34, Hong Kong's Hang Seng plunged 0.88 percent or 182.74 points to 20515.94 and Chinese Shanghai Composite fell 0.68 percent or 13.86 points to 2015.43, while Indian benchmark BSE Sensex declined 0.21 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite fell 0.55 percent.
U.S. stocks plunged Tuesday with the S&P 500 falling the most in three months after Philadelphia Fed President Plosser noted the risks emanating from the recently announced third round of quantitative easing and the potential lack of positive impact on the growth and employment.
Market sentiment was also weighed down by renewed fears over the euro zone debt crisis. Large-scale protests against anti-austerity measures in Madrid revived fears over the single currency region's three-year-old debt crisis. An estimated 6,000 demonstrators clashed with the police in Madrid in an angry protest against the austerity cuts and tax hikes aimed at alleviating the country's debt burden.
The Spanish government will present its 2013 budget on Thursday which aims to cut the country's deficit down to 4.5 percent of GDP next year. The government's resistance to seek a sovereign bailout is weighing on its borrowing costs. The independent stress tests of Spain's banking sector will be published Friday and is likely to show that the actual capital needs by banks could be 50 to 60 billion euros, well below the total 100 billion euros official credit line available and avoid the need for further aid.
"It appears as though the impact of recent central bank announcements is fading fast to be replaced by renewed global growth fears and yet more concerns about the lack of traction in delivering solutions to the fiscal crisis in Europe,” said a note from Credit Agricole.
Japanese shares plunged, led by declines from exporter companies on the back of a stronger yen. Canon Inc. plunged 3.99 percent and Sony Corp. tumbled 4.44 percent while Advantest Corp. fell 3.48 percent after the company stock was downgraded to “hold” rating from “buy” at Deutsche Bank.
Among automakers, Nissan Motor Co. fell 2.35 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. declined 2.20 percent while Honda Motors plunged 4.05 percent.
Declines from financials and commodity related shares Hang Seng pushed down. HSBC Holdings Plc slipped 1.42 percent and China Coal Energy Ltd. declined 2.53 percent while Aluminum Corp of China Ltd. plunged 3.09 percent.
In Seoul, Samsung Electronics fell 0.78 percent and LG Display Co Ltd. declined 1.24 percent while Hyundai Motor Co surged 2.04 percent.