Benchmark oil stood below $102 per barrel while the dollar rose against the euro and the yen.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell 1.5 percent to 8,359.92. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.4 percent at 18,550.37. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.7 percent to 1,833.50. Benchmarks in mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, India and Indonesia also were lower.
Developments on Thursday magnified fears that Europe’s debt crisis — which dominated so many of 2011’s financial headlines — was flaring anew.