Asian markets ended lower Thursday tracking overnight losses on Wall Street after stronger-than-expected employment data from payroll firm ADP.
Data in Australia showed the country's trade balance fell more-than-expected last month.
Stocks on the Move
Hitachi reversed the morning session's gains and lost half a percent. Shares initially rose after the U.K. government agreed to support loan financing for Hitachi’s development of a new nuclear power reactor at an existing nuclear power station on the island of Anglesey in North Wales.
Watchmaker Seiko Holdings also rose initially but also gave up the morning's gains and ended 1.5% lower. The Nikkei newspaper reported the company's operating profit is likely to increase 150% on year for the financial year ending March 2014.
Mini-vehicle makers were additionally weighed by a report the government will raise ownership taxes for such cars by October 2015. Daihatsu Motor reversed 2.1%.
Index heavyweight Sony fell 1.1% while Panasonic and Canon were down about a percent each. NEC Corp. fell 2.6%.
Chinese telecom operators gained after they were granted 4G licenses. China Mobile was up 0.6% but China Unicom fell 1.2%. China Motion Telecom gained 1.5%.
China Mobile was also boosted by a report in The Wall Street Journal that the company has signed a deal with Apple to offer iPhones on its network with the rollout of the phones expected later this month.
Standard Chartered plunged 4.7% after it warned its operating profit would fall this year for the first time in a decade.
Mumbai shares were the sole gainers in the region
Qantas Airways plummeted 11.2% after it reported an underlying pre-tax loss for the first half and also announced 1000 job cuts, a pay freeze, and a review of capital expenditure and assets.