Stocks on Wall Street edged lower after a weak reading on US private sector hiring added to concerns over a weakening European economy.
Private-sector job growth in April showed an increase of just 119,000 jobs, well below expectations and sharply lower than March's downwardly revised gain of 201,000 jobs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 10.75 points, or 0.1%, to 13,268.57 at the close (8am NZ time).
The S&P 500 index gaven up 0.2% to 1402.31, while technology stocks on the Nasdaq Composite bucked the trend, rising 0.3% to 3059.55.
Leading the losses were energy and financial stocks, which are more sensitive to signs of economic improvement and deterioration.
Other markets: Europe mixed, Asia up
European markets erased earlier gains to trade flat or lower after the eurozone manufacturing purchasing manager's index fell to its lowest level since June 2009.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose to a euro-era high of 10.9% in March from February's 10.8%.
With most markets returning from the May Day holiday, the German DAX index fell 0.7% to 6710.77 after being up as much as 1.7%.
The UK's FTSE 100 index dropped 0.9% to 5758.11, while in France the CAC-40 edged up 0.4%.
France's CAC-40 index, however, climbed 0.4% to 3226.33, getting a boost from a rise in the country's purchasing managers' index for April.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index ended down 0.4% at 257.39.
Asian markets were broadly higher on the back of Tuesday's gains on Wall Street and positive Chinese economic data.
China's Shanghai Composite rallied 1.8% to 2438.44 after the manufacturing purchasing manager's index rose to 53.3 in April.
Investors returning from a one-day break in Hong Kong pushed the Hang Seng Index up 1% to 21,309.08, while in Korea the Kospi rose 0.9% to 1999.07.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average rose 0.3% to 9380.25 and the Australian S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to 4435.9.
Commodities: Oil, gold down
Crude-oil futures declined to about $US105.30 a barrel, while gold futures slipped to about $US1650 an ounce.
Currencies: US dollar rises
The US dollar rose against most major currencies. The euro stumbled after data indicated a deepening downturn for the euro-zone economy.
The dollar remained up on the US jobs report. The euro was at $US1.3158 compared with $US1.3237 late on Tuesday.
The dollar traded at ¥80.15 from ¥80.09. The pound bought $US1.6194 from $US1.6222, while the dollar changed hands at 0.9134 Swiss franc from 0.9078 franc.
The euro lost 0.5% versus the pound to 81.24p after trading as low as 81.11p, the lowest since June 2010,