US stocks pulled back from the brink of a sell-off on Thursday, as investors awaited signs the international community could prevent Greece from defaulting on its debt.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.54% to close at 11,961.52, while the Nasdaq composite index slipped 0.29% to close at 2623.70.
Britain's top shares fell sharply, with the FTSE 100 ending down 0.8% at 5698, a level last seen after the Japanese earthquake in March.
Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 closed down 87 points on Thursday at 4546, while the NZX50 closed down 24 (0.7%) at 3481.
In currency markets, the euro hit a three-week low at $US1.4090 because of concerns about the debt crisis in Greece.
As at 7am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 80.1 US cents, 76.12 Australian, 49.71 pence, 64.68 yen and 0.5662 euro. The TWI stood at 69.63.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US115.66 a barrel and gold at $1529.80c an ounce.