Wall Street fell sharply on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said stimulus measures would be scaled back later this year.
The Dow Jones index closed down 1.3%, Standard Poor's 500 Index closed down 1.4% and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 1.1%.
The FTSE 100 in London earlier closed down 0.4%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.39% and the CAC-40 in Paris was down 0.55%.
The Australian 200 Index closed up nearly 1% on Wednesday at 4,861 as it watched for news on what the US Federal Reserve would do. The NZX 50 closed down 0.4%.
Brent crude Oil was trading flat on Thursday morning at about $US106 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1363 per ounce.