Asian shares extend global sell-off

Asian shares retreated in early trading Wednesday, extending a global sell-off amid European debt worries and possible monetary tightening in China.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average lost 0.5 percent to 9,749.45, and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.3 percent to 1,894.06.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 shed 1.5 percent to 4,629.7 as lower commodities prices hurt shares of resource-related companies.

In New York Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 178.47, or 1.6 percent, to 11,023.50.

Speculation that China will take more steps to rein in its red-hot economy dragged on sentiment because it would dampen global demand for industrial goods. While Asian countries are dealing with excessive economic growth and inflation, European finance ministers were concerned that Ireland would be the latest European country to need a bailout.

The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 19.41, or 1.6 percent, to 1,178.34, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 43.98, or 1.8 percent, to 2,469.84.

In currencies, the dollar edged up to 83.36 yen from 83.28 yen late Tuesday. The euro stood at $1.3491 from $1.3487.