- Asian stocks fell on Thursday, with Japan leading the region lower as Tokyo was weighed by a stronger yen and Australia was weighed by poor employment data.

The Nikkei 225 fell 0.9%, as the dollar edged lower against the yen.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.4%, after data showed that the number of people employed in Australia fell by 4,800 in May, well below the consensus forecast for a 10,000 increase. The unemployment rate was 5.8%, slightly lower than an expected 5.9%

Miners in Australia were under pressure as iron ore prices lost further ground, with Rio Tinto Ltd (ASX:RIO) 0.8% lower and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG) down 3.5%.

In China, stocks were lower ahead of a flurry of economic data due Friday--including industrial output figures and retail sales numbers. Hong Kong''s Hang Seng Index lost 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite Index was 0.2% lower.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea''s KOSPI was 0.2% lower.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fell after the World Bank trimmed its global growth forecasts for this year due to the effects the Ukraine crisis may have on recovery.

The Dow 30 fell 0.60%, the S&P 500 index fell 0.35%, while the NASDAQ Compositee index fell 0.14%.

The World Bank cut its 2014 global growth forecast to 2.8% from a 3.2% forecast made in January due in part to the Russian standoff over Ukraine, which weighed on U.S. stocks due to the heavy European exposure in many U.S. companies.

The global economy grew 2.4% in 2013, according to the World Bank, and the revision gave investors reason to sell for profits as did political news in the U.S.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his party''s nomination to a conservative activist in Tuesday''s Virginia primary, which spooked investors by stoking fears gridlock in Washington may get even worse.

On Thursday 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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