A torrid day for Japanese stocks

Meanwhile, the Topix closes down by 2.4% at 1,905.92. This is the worst showing by the Nikkei since the 4% plunge at the end of February trading.

The decline today sees both indices slip just below their respective 100-day moving averages with the Nikkei nearing support from the March and April lows at 28,300-400.

The drop here follows the sluggish sentiment since US trading yesterday, though mainland Chinese stocks are defying the odds late in Asia currently.

The Hang Seng is down 1.7% but the Shanghai Composite is up near the highs for the day now as it climbs by 0.4% after keeping lower earlier in the day.

US futures are still keeping rather defensive, with S&P 500 futures down 0.4% and Nasdaq futures down 0.7% ahead of European trading.