Asian shares were subdued on Thursday after more dour economic news in China and the United States prompted a bruising selloff the previous day.
Worries that an eventual tightening in U.S. monetary policy and slower growth in China could knock the global economy have scared off investors, particularly those invested in stocks and commodities.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan crawled up 0.2 percent after having posted their biggest single-day fall in almost a month the previous day.
Shanghai shares gained 0.7 percent after losing more than 2 percent on Wednesday, while South Korea’s Kospi nudged up 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, however, shed 0.6 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei average, opening for the first time since Friday after a string of national holidays, tumbled 2.3 percent, edging near its seven-month low touched earlier this year. Shares of Japanese automakers sagged in a delayed reaction to the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal.
The scandal has raised fears among economists that it could develop into a major threat to Europe’s largest economy.