A four-day rally on Wall Street ground to a halt as investors turned cautious on Thursday. A labour market report due on Friday is expected to underscore fears the US economy is headed for another recession.
The Dow Jones Index fell 120 points, or 1%, to close at 11,494. The Nasdaq Composite was down 33 points, or 1.3%, to finish at 2546
The FTSE 100 index in London rose 24 points, or 0.5% to close at 5419, having rallied more than 5% over the previous two sessions.
The DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.9% and the CAC-40 in Paris rose 0.3%.
Earlier, the Nikkei in Tokyo rose 105 points to end at 9060. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong ended up 50 points at 20,585.
The Australian 200 Index rose 9 points, or 0.3%, to 3332 on Thursday. The NZX 50 rose 11 points, or 0.25%, to close at 4307.
At 8.16am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 85.05 US cents, 79.27 Australian cents, 52.57 pence, 65.41 yen and 0.5962 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 72.89.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US118.02 US per barrel and gold was trading at $US1829.30 US per ounce.