Asian stocks declined on the first trading day of the month after finishing February with losses. Declines in the region also tracked sharp losses seen stateside in the previous session.
The Nikkei 225 declined 1.39 percent, or 307.24 points, on the first day of March. Automakers, technology stocks and financials traded lower.
Heavyweight SoftBank Group lost 0.94 percent, Toyota slid 1.71 percent and apparel company Fast Retailing was off 0.78 percent. Among manufacturing names, Fanuc declined 1.74 percent and Kyocera shed 1.75 percent.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.74 percent. Losses were led by the energy sub-index, which fell 2.05 percent in the morning. Mining majors were also weaker in the morning, with Rio Tinto falling 3.96 percent and Fortescue Metals losing 1.69 percent.
Oil producers were lower in early trade as crude prices remained soft: Santos fell 1.49 percent and Oil Search lost 4.37 percent.
Australia's "Big Four" banks were also weaker in the day, with ANZ down 1.19 percent while its peers recorded slighter losses.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index extended losses in early trade, edging down by 0.6 percent. Financials were in negative territory in the morning, with insurer AIA falling 1.07 percent and heavily weighted HSBC off by 0.51 percent.
Property developers were a mixed picture: Country Garden tacked on 0.99 percent while CK Asset slipped 0.37 percent. Index heavyweight Tencent shrugged off broader market sentiment to trade higher by 1.11 percent.
Mainland markets traded slightly higher after recent losses: The Shanghai composite edged up by 0.15 percent and the Shenzhen composite added 0.34 percent in the early going.
Caixin manufacturing PMI for February released on Thursday came in at 51.6, a touch above the 51.3 forecast in a Reuters poll. Official manufacturing PMI had missed forecasts, with analysts noting the impact of the Lunar New Year holiday on manufacturing activity.
Markets in South Korea and Thailand were closed for holidays on Thursday.
Asian markets finished February with losses after a global rout in stock markets earlier that month. The Shanghai composite and Hang Seng Index were down 6.4 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively. That was their worst month in more than two years.
US stocks fell on Wednesday despite the Dow Jones industrial average advancing as much as 166 points earlier in the session, with the 30-stock index closing lower by 1.5 percent at 25,029.20.
For the month, the Dow and S&P 500 closed lower by 4.3 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.
In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, firmed to trade at 90.703 by 9:34 a.m. HK/SIN after touching a five-week high in the overnight session.
The dollar had firmed after new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a positive assessment of the US economy on Tuesday and signaled interest rates could rise more than three times this year.
Powell is due to address Congress again on Thursday during US market hours.
Gains in the dollar index also came as the euro slid in the last session, ahead of elections in Italy at the weekend. The currency was a touch softer at USD 1.2184. Meanwhile, sterling extended losses to trade at USD 1.3746 after Wednesday's sharp fall which came about on Brexit worries.
Against the yen, however, the dollar was steady at 106.63, compared to levels around the 107 handle seen during Asian trade in the last session.On the energy front, prices were steady following the overnight drop in prices, after data reflected an increase in US stockpiles. US West Texas Intermediate were flat at USD 61.64 per barrel. Brent crude futures, meanwhile, slipped 0.17 percent to trade at USD 64.62.