Japanese stocks dropped, with the Topix index heading for its first back-to-back loss in a month, after the yen gained yesterday and U.S. shares fell amid disappointing retail data and mounting violence in Iraq.

The Topix dropped 0.6 percent to 1,230.58 at the break in Tokyo, with all but four of its 33 industry groups declining. The gauge is poised for a 0.3 percent loss this week. Futures for the Nikkei 225 Stock Average traded in Singapore maintained losses after the Bank of Japan kept stimulus unchanged. Before the central bank announcement, the measure ended the morning session down 0.6 percent to 14,878. The yen fell 0.1 percent to 101.80 per dollar after strengthening 0.4 percent yesterday, the biggest gain in five weeks.

The strife in Iraq, three years after U.S. troops withdrew, has raised the prospect of a return to sectarian civil war in OPEC��s second-biggest oil producer. Security forces sought to check the rapid advance of Islamist militants who had seized major cities, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki responded to the greatest threat to his government since taking power.

Source : Bloomberg