Asian shares slid on Friday as mounting concerns about the health of European banks further threatened a global economic outlook already under strain from falling oil prices and slowdown in China and other emerging markets. The prices of yen, gold and liquid government bonds of favoured countries soared as investors rushed to traditional safe-haven assets. “The markets are clearly starting to price in a sharp slowdown in the world economy and even a recession in the United States,” said Tsuyoshi Shimizu, chief strategist at Mizuho Asset Management. “I do not expect a collapse of major financial crisis like the Lehman crisis but it will take some before market sentiment will improve,” he added. Japan’s Nikkei share average fell more than 5 per cent to a fresh 16-month low on Friday, and was set for its biggest weekly drop since 2008 as investors rushed to dump risky assets after the dollar dived to a 15-month low against the yen. The Nikkei fell as much as 5.4 per cent to 14,865.77 in morning trade, a level unseen since October, 2014.