Wall Street was down on Tuesday after new figures showed that manufacturing shrank again last month.
August was the third consecutive month of contraction in the factory sector and hiring numbers were the lowest in nearly three years. Latest US jobs data for August is due to be issued on Friday.
The Dow Jones Index was down 13 points at 13,077, but the Nasdaq Composite was up 14 points, at 3080.
European markets also fell. The FTSE 100 in London was down 1.5%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.17% and the CAC 40 was down 1.58.
The Australian 200 Index closed down 26 points, or 0.06%, at 4303 and the NZX50 index rose 7 points or 0.19% to close at 3676.
At 8.30am on Wednesday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 79.45 US cents, 77.63 Australian cents, 50.02 pence, 62.28 yen and 0. 6316 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 71.47.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US115.37 per barrel and gold was trading at $US1694.49 per ounce.