The Topix index also shed 0.89%, South Korea’s Kospi also declined 1.2%, the Shanghai Composite 0.77% lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.32% in today’s trade.
US equities weakened and US Dollar strengthened across the board after Fed Chair Powell reiterated the Fed's discomfort with negative interest rates. The Australian dollar fell after data showed a record plunge of over half a million jobs in April.
As per media reports, US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that more may need to be done to support the economy. Powell said the threat of a lasting downturn could deepen without additional government spending.
Further, EIA data indicated a drawdown in crude inventories for the first time since January. This should help support crude prices along with Saudi Arabia's decision the previous day of cutting output by another 1mbpd.
Meanwhile, US weekly jobless claims data is due today. China will release tomorrow industrial production and retail sales data for April.