Wall Street slipped after news that imports to China fell unexpectedly. Investors are also awaiting a ruling by a German court on the legality of the eurozone's permanent financial rescue fund.
The Dow Jones Index on Monday was down 4 points, at 13,302. The Nasdaq Composite was down 19 points, or 0.6%, at 3116.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 1.6%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.8% and the CAC-40 in Paris was down 0.37%.
The Australian 200 Index closed on Monday up 7 points, or 0.18%, at 4334 and the NZX 50 closed up 4 points, at 3,726.
At 8.30am, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 80.99 US cents, 78.24 Australian cents, 50.59 pence, 63.39 yen and 0.6337 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 72.33.
Brent crude oil was trading at $114.03 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1729.53 per ounce.