Stocks on Wall St have fallen, as traders focus on a sliding euro and rising Italian bond yields.
Italy has paid a record high yield of 6.47% to sell five-year notes in its first auction of longer-term debt since the European Union moved toward greater fiscal integration.
The Dow Jones Index on Wednesday was down 132 points, or 1.1%, at 11,847. The Nasdaq Composite is down 38 points, or 1.5%, at 2541.
The FTSE 100 index in London fell 2.3%, the DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.7% and the CAC-40 in Paris fell 3.3%.
The Australian 200 Index slipped 3 points to close at 4190 and the NZX 50 fell 9 points to finish at 3284
At 8.15am on Thursday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 75.07 US cents, 75.77 Australian cents, 48.54 pence, 58.61 yen and 0.5785 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 67.58.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US106.49 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1586 per ounce.