Equity markets fell to a sharp sell-off on Monday, with heavy losses across Europe and Asia as some analysts suggested a market correction was beginning to bite.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Average fell 2.53%, while Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.56% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.78% and Seoul's Kospi Composite slid 1.33%.
Asian losses extended the sell-off seen in US markets on Friday where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.54% and the S&P 500 gave up 2.12% and the Nasdaq 1.96%.
As European equity markets opened, they too extended last week's sell off as talk of an "overdue" equity market correction intensified.
In early trade, the EuroStoxx 50 index fell 1.1%, while London's FTSE 100 lost 1.05%, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.08% and Frankfurt's Xetra Dax slipped 1%.
A correction is when the price of an asset, security or a market index or other indicator falls 10% from its most recent cyclical peak. They are regular occurrences: on average, markets witness price corrections once a year or so, and the last one on the US S&P 500 was in January 2016.
David Jane, asset manager at Miton, said: "A broader based correction is clearly a possibility as leveraged investors closing their positions will have broader consequences for all assets in the short term."
He was not alone in thinking a correction could be under way. David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, cast aside the suggestion that equities and bond markets were moving lower in tandem due to fears of rising inflation.
"The somewhat untidy, but nevertheless more plausible explanation is that both the bond market and stock market were overdue for a correction after a remarkably placid two years," he said.
Bumpy ride ahead
Over the coming week, Kelly suspected the correction would either intensify or reverse - but expect it to be a "bumpy" ride, he added.
"As the markets move and commentary becomes extreme, investors would do well to maintain some scepticism about what they read and focus more on the basics of fundamentals, valuation and positioning," Kelly added.
Jan Hatzius at Goldman Sachs remained of the view that recent evidence of rising inflation in the wage segments of labour market reports and in price indices on purchasing manager reports, were stoking concerns of tighter monetary conditions ahead.
"The expectation of tighter policy is now, at last, starting to weigh on broader financial conditions," he wrote in a note.
"It might indicate that the equity and credit markets will need some time to digest the recent repricing before taking the next step."