Stocks declined on Wall Street on Wednesday as investors continue to worry about the sustainability of an economic recovery.
The United States lost fewer private sector jobs in August than in July while companies planned fewer layoffs.
There are tentative signs of recovery in manufacturing with an increase in new orders in July for the fourth consecutive month, though the rise was smaller than economists had expected.
The Dow Jones Index was down 30 points to 9281.
The Nasdaq Composite down 2 points at 1967.
Earlier, in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London was flat, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.1% and CAC-40 in Paris was down 0.3%.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei index was down 250 points to 10,280.
The Australian 200 Index down 76 points, or 1.7%, to 44 38
The NZX50 was down 10 points, or 0.3%, on Wednesday to close at 3075 on turnover of $63 million.
At 8.26am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 67.3 US cents, 80.71 Australian cents, 41.33 pence, 61.99 yen and 0.4715 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 62.42.
Brent crude oil is trading at $US67.74 per barrel, after US government data showing a smaller than expected drop in crude stocks in the United States, offset a steep drop in gasoline inventories.
Gold was trading at $US976.90 per ounce.