Stocks pulled back some losses in the last hour of trading on Wall St after minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers appear less inclined to provide any further monetary stimulus to a gradually improving economy.
The Dow Jones Index fell 65 points at close at 13,200 on Tuesday.
The Nasdaq Composite was down 6 points to 3114.
In Europe: the FTSE 100 index in London fell 0.6%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.1% and the CAC 40 in Paris was down 1.6%.
The Nikkei Index in Tokyo was down 59 points to 10,050.
The Australian 200 Index rose 8 points to 4337. The NZX50 index fell 21 points, or 0.6%, to close at 3473.
At 8.28am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 81.86 US, 79.26 Australian cents, 51.41 pence, 67.79 yen and 0.6182 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 73.15.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US126.78 per barrel and gold was trading at $1,648.24 per ounce.