Breaking News Emails
Markets in Asia lost early gains and tumbled into negative territory on Thursday, following another selloff on Wall Street on global growth concerns, uncertainty in China and fresh lows in oil prices.
The Shanghai composite touched its lowest level since December 2014, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index tumbled to a fresh three-year low in another late afternoon sell-off.
Klaus Baader, head of research for Asia at Societe Generale, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" the selloff in equity markets have been "absolutely savage."
Related: Why Cheap Oil Is Slamming Stocks
"It has very much the feeling of capitulation. I think one of the main reasons why this is happening is there's just so much uncertainty out there. And the uncertainty I think, in particular, relates to China and to what's happening to the global currency construct, where is China's [foreign exchange] policy going. That's one of the things that's really unsettling markets," he said.
Japan's Nikkei 225 retraced early gains to close down 398.93 points, or 2.43 percent, at 16,017.26, after trading up as much as 1.9 percent earlier in the session. That leaves the index deeper into bear country after losing 3.71 percent in Wednesday's session. The index is down 22.57 percent from its 52-week high of 20,686.03, set in June 2015. The Topix was down 37.48 points, or 2.80 percent, at 1,301.49.
Reuters, citing capital flows data in Japan, said foreign investors remained net sellers of Japanese stocks for the week ending on January 16, selling a net 358.3 billion yen worth of shares. The week before, they sold 746.4 billion yen.
Across the Korea Strait, South Korea's Kospi see-sawed between gains of 0.68 percent at market open and losses before finishing down 4.92 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,840.53.