Chinese shares slumped on Thursday after HSBC data showed that manufacturing activity fell to a nine-month low this month.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 2.77 percent, or 59.43points, to end at 2,084.02. The Shenzhen Component Index declined 3.25 percent, or 273.76 points, to 8,147.48.
The HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for June fell to 48.3, the lowest reading since October and down from 49.2 in May.
The tumble also tracked wide losses in Asian markets following news that the U.S. Federal Reserve could start scaling back its massive bond-buying program later this year if the U.S. economy improves as expected.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that if U.S. data remain aligned with expectations for the economy, the central bank will reduce its pace of bond-buying "in measured steps" through the first half of next year and could end the purchases in 2014.
Japan's Nikkei index ended 1.74 percent lower, while the Hang Seng index went down 2.88 percent.
Combined turnover on the Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses slightly shrank to 147.49 billion yuan (23.91 billion U.S. dollars) from 148 billion yuan on the previous trading day.
Steel and bank shares led the decline, with Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Union Co., Ltd. down 4.83 percent to 4.34 yuan per share. Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd. fell 2.57 percent to 4.17 yuan, while the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China declined 2.17 percent to 4.06 yuan.
The ChiNext Index, which tracks China's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, plummeted 3.57 percent.