The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo dropped 2.26 percent Tuesday to 11,398.81. In China, the Shanghai composite index gave up 1.4 percent while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia dropped 1.03 percent.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 1.32 percent. In India, the business community is jittery in advance of a new federal budget. The Sensex index in Mumbai, near a three-month low, lost 1.64 percent to 19,015.14.
Markets were off sharply in Europe, as well.
The FTSE 100 in Britain dropped 1.34 percent, partly in reaction to Monday's hard drop in U.S. markets.
Italian markets led declines in Europe, however, after Prime Minister Mario Monti was clobbered in national elections this week.
Italy's FTSE MIB index dropped 4.89 percent while the DAX 30 in Germany was off 2.27 percent. The CAC 40 in France fell 2.67 percent while the Stoxx Europe 600 gave up 1.32 percent.