Stocks in the United States have declined on concerns that a market rally is too optimistic about the economic recovery, which offset better manufacturing and house sales figures there.
The Dow Jones Index was down 186 points to 9312 on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite was down 40 points at 1969.
In London, the FTSE 100 was down 1.9%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 2.5% and the CAC-40 in Paris was down 1.9%.
Earlier in Tokyo, the Nikkei index was up 38 points to 10,530.
The Australian 200 Index was up 36 points, or 0.8%, to 4515.
The NZX50 was down 13 points, or 0.4%, on Tuesday to close at 3084 on turnover of $119 million.
At 8.25am, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 67.41 US cents, 81.70 Australian cents, 41.70 pence, 62.85 yen and 0.4737 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 62.83.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US68.93 per barrel. Gold was trading at $US955.25 per ounce.