In Australia the drop in employment in January, which the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the jobless rate rose to 6% from 5.8% the previous month. The number of employed persons fell by 3,700 to 11.46 million, while a Dow Jones Newswires survey of economists had expected a net gain of 15,000 employed and a jobless rate of 5.9%. The Australian dollar fell sharply on the result to 89.45 U.S. cents from around 90 U.S. cents just ahead of the report. Stocks pared their opening gain, trading 0.1% higher compared to 0.4% higher earlier.
The Japanese stocks declined as trading started on Thursday, with the export-heavy market feeling the weight of the yen as it held to recent gains against the U.S. dollar.A strong yen makes the stocks go south.