Wall Street has been restrained by lower than expected US consumer confidence figures and profit-taking on Tuesday.
The Dow Jones index was down 31 points or 0.33%, to 9899. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1% or 21 points to 2141.
In Europe, the DAX in Frankfurt just in the red, the CAC-40 in Paris was up slightly and the FTSE100 in London was up by around 0.33%.
Earlier, the Nikkei was down 1.45% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 1.86%.
The Australian 200 Index was down 1.6% or 76 points to 4753.
In New Zealand, the NZX50 index was down 22 to 3192.
At 8.15am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 74.45 American cents, 81.19 Australian cents, 45.44 British pence, 68.34 yen and 0. 5028 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 67.03.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US77.30 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1037 per ounce.