Activity is relatively subdued as summer begins, with the World Cup set to start on Thursday.
The cut in the World Bank's global growth forecast from 3.2 per cent to 2.8 per cent also had an impact on sentiment. Fears over China's growth rate and unrest in Ukraine has weighed on confidence.
The Nikkei is up 0.2 per cent on the back of an announcement from the country's largest public pension fund that it will boost stock and overseas bond investments. However, a business outlook survey pointed to a sharp drop in output this quarter.
Japanese firms still expect demand to recover in the second half of the year. The headline index dropped from +12.7 to -14.6, weaker than firms' own forecast of -9.8.
The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.2 per cent as the yuan traded close to a one-month high against the dollar. South Korea's Kospi was flat after the country reported a fall in the unemployment rate in May.
Australian markets took a hit despite a survey showing rising consumer confidence in June.