Asian markets fell Wednesday following a rout on Wall Street, as investors were bombarded by a "perfect storm" of problems that erased the positivity seen at the start of the week.
The glum mood overshadowed hints from Donald Trump at more time to resolve the China-US trade row, as well as soothing comments from China about their desire to push on with a weekend agreement between the world's top economies.
Trading floors are awash with uncertainty over the agreement Mr Trump hammered out with Xi Jinping to much fanfare - and an initial market rally - in Buenos Aires, with little clarity emerging and the US president shifting his tone.
While he hailed the deal at first, on Tuesday he warned on Twitter "remember, I am a Tariff Man", adding "When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so".
Then, in another tweet he left open the door to an extension of the agreement's 90-day timeline to end the row.
We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all - at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States. Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2018
On Wednesday, China's commerce ministry called the pact "successful" and said it "will start with the implementation of the specific matters in which consensus has been reached, the sooner the better", without providing more details.
Adding to the mounting risks are concerns about the US economy after the difference in yields on two- and 10-year bonds narrowed, suggesting traders are increasingly concerned about longer-term prospects.
The are fears of an "inversion" where short-term yields overtake long-term rates, which in the past has been the precursor to a recession.
Wall Street suffered a battering, with the Dow slipping 3.1 percent, S&P 500 3.2 percent lower and Nasdaq 3.8 percent off.
The selling continued into Asia, where Hong Kong plunged 1.6 percent, Shanghai lost 0.8 percent and Tokyo ended the morning 0.4 percent down.
Singapore shed 0.8 percent and Seoul was 0.6 percent off, while Wellington dived 1.3 percent. Sydney shed 1.2 percent after data showed the Australian economy grew at a slower pace than expected in July-September. The Australian dollar also sank more than one percent.
The selling "has all the nasty hallmarks that traders typically call the perfect storm," said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trade at OANDA. He said investors "are probably left feeling duped, tricked and maybe even snookered by some ill-advised backslapping comments post G20".
"While trade war is certainly the number one driver of global risk sentiment, the current meltdown is morphing into a Hydra with familiar points of irritation - trade, (Federal Reserve), Brexit, Italy, global growth - coming to a head," he added.