- Asian stock markets were lower on Thursday, as a disappointing overnight session on Wall Street dampened sentiment.

During late Asian trade, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng dipped 0.45%, China’s Shanghai Composite slumped 0.14%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.46% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended down 0.64%.

Asia was given a negative lead from the U.S., where the Dow and S&P 500 fell from all-time highs amid concerns over global growth prospects and escalating violence in Iraq.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei ended at a more than one-week low as a stronger yen weighed on sentiment. The yen traded at ¥102.04 against the greenback.

Index heavyweights Fast Retailing (TOKYO:9983) and Fanuc (TOKYO:6954) saw shares fall 2% and 2.2% respectively.

Meanwhile, in Australia, the ASX/200 Index ended at a one-week low after data showed that the economy lost 4,800 jobs in May, disappointing expectations for an increase of 10,300. The jobless rate held steady at 5.8% last month, compared to forecasts for an increase to 5.9%.

The Australian dollar traded at 93.86 against its U.S. counterpart, from a close of 93.79 in the prior session.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG) tumbled 4.6% after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the stock.

Elsewhere, shares in mainland China and Hong Kong edged lower amid ongoing concerns over the health of China’s economy.

The Asian nation is due to release key data on May industrial production and retail sales on Friday.

Looking ahead, European stock market futures pointed to a modestly higher open. The Euro Stoxx 50 futures pointed to a gain of 0.15%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.1%, London’s FTSE 100 indicated a gain of 0.1%, while Germany''s DAX added 0.1%.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. equity markets also pointed to a firm open. The Dow pointed to a gain of 0.1%, the S&P 500 inched up 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a rise of 0.1%.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims, in addition to data on retail sales and import prices.

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