The Tokyo market slumped to a 28-year low on Monday as Asian shares dived on fears of a nightmare scenario of eurozone breakup, U.S. economic relapse and a sharp slowdown in China.
Tokyo's Topix index lost as much as 2.4 per cent to 692.18, a level not seen since late 1983, according to Reuters data, while the Nikkei average of major stocks tumbled 2 per cent. The Nikkei last week marked its ninth straight week of losses, the longest such losing streak run in 20 years.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell by as much as 2.5 per cent to 2012 lows, down 17 per cent from this year's peak, continuing a rout of global stocks sparked on Friday by weak U.S. jobs data.
European shares were likely to extend their losses, having wiped out all their 2012 gains on Friday. Spreadbetters tipped major European markets to fall by as much as 1.8 per cent when trading resumes on Monday.
And U.S. stock futures also pointed to more selling when investors wake up in North America, with S&P 500 futures down 0.7 per cent in Asian trade.
"Investors are just fleeing risk assets," said ATI Asset Management chief investment officer Simon Burge.
"Bond yields are at an all-time low. Even in the global financial crisis we didn't see bond yields at the levels that they have reached now ... This is a flight from risk assets that is unprecedented," Burge said.