Stocks in the United States fell about 1% on Wednesday on concerns about the economy in early 2012.
The Dow Jones Index was down 110 points at 12181 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 25 points, to 2600.
European markets were also down. The FTSE-100, in London slipped 0.10%, the CAC-40 Paris was down 1.03% and the DAX 30 in Frankfurt dropped 2.01%.
Across the Tasman, the Australian 200 Index closed on Wednesday down 52 points, at 4089. The NZX 50 closed at 3237.
The New Zealand dollar on Thursday was trading at 76.94 US cents, 76.18 Australian cents, 49.74 pence, 60.02 yen and 0.5900 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 69.02.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US109 per barrel.