Asia shares buckle beneath global growth woes; oil prices hit new lows

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian stocks slid on Wednesday as worries about waning global growth lifted safe-haven bonds and the yen, while shoving oil prices to their lowest in more than two years.

In Asia, Japan's Topix shed 1.6 per cent while the Nikkei dropped 1.4 per cent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.4 per cent, while Australia's main index lost 1.1 per cent.

Dealers were now waiting anxiously to see how China's markets react as they return from a week-long break. China also has the only major piece of economic news in the region with the release of the HSBC PMI for the services sector.

Traders will be hoping the figures are better than Tuesday's dismal selection. German industrial output fell 4.0 percent in the biggest decline since the height of the financial crisis, piling yet more pressure on the European Central Bank to be more urgent in its actions.

At the same time, the IMF shaved its global growth forecast to 3.3 per cent for this year, from 3.4 per cent, warning of weakness in core euro zone countries, Japan and big emerging markets such as Brazil.

Commodities were under pressure as global demand fell short of supply. Brent crude oil fell 31 cents to US$91.80 a barrel. It hit US$91.25 on Monday, the lowest since June 2012.

U.S. November crude eased another 27 cents to US$88.58 a barrel, uncomfortably close to its recent trough of US$88.18.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.