Asian stocks slid and government bonds mostly rose on Wednesday after U.S. corporate news increased worries on export demand and debt rating downgrades sent investors seeking safety ahead of the year end.
Focus was shifting to November U.S. retail sales and a deluge of Chinese economic data due on Friday to gauge how strong the global recovery really is.
A bigger-than-expected downward revision to Japanese economic growth in the third quarter weighed on the Nikkei share index and was a sobering reminder of how weak demand and deflation are hounding Asia's largest economy.
Japan's GDP data came in below expectations, and this does give the impression that things aren't looking too good for the economy just down the road, Noritsugu Hirakawa, a strategist at Okasan Securities in Tokyo.
The Nikkei fell 1.1 percent, down a second day after a blistering rally in the first week of December lifted the index to its highest level in about five weeks.
Chip-related stocks like Tokyo Electron and Advantest Corp fell more than 2 percent after Texas Instruments Inc did not raise the upper end of a forecast sales range and said it was having difficulty meeting demand owing to supply bottlenecks.
The MSCI index of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan slipped 0.6 percent, with the materials sector providing the biggest drag.
The Thomson Reuters index of Asia ex-Japan equities was also down 0.6 percent.
The euro recovered after a three-day decline against the U.S. dollar, rising 0.1 percent to $1.4717.
A sovereign debt rating downgrade of Greece gave dealers enough of a reason to push the euro to a one-month low below $1.4680, but dealers in the Asian session were quick to support it.
Since hitting a 15-month low on November 26, the ICE Futures U.S. dollar index, a measure of its value against six other major currencies, has risen 3 percent.
Government bonds in the region rose as money flowed from falling equity markets and investors chose safety after Moody's cut ratings on six government-run companies in Dubai.
The news increased nervousness surrounding Dubai, with its credit default swaps widening, but we continue to believe that any major problems there will be of local or regional nature and will not shake global markets, Dariusz Kowalczyk, chief investment strategist with SJS Markets in Hong Kong, said in a note.
Ten-year Japanese government bond futures rose 0.2 point to 140.33, withing striking distance of a 20-month high reached on December 1.
Ten-year Australian government bond futures was up a more modest 0.03 point. The future has slid 0.26 point so far in December.
U.S. crude futures rose 44 cents to $73.06 a barrel after industry data showed a surprise drawdown in inventories, after a five-session streak of losses chopped $6 off oil prices.
(Editing by Neil Fullick)