Stocks on Wall Street were down for a third day on weak economic signals from the eurozone and fresh concerns from China about slowing global growth.
The eurozone’s preliminary composite purchasing managers' index fell to a three-month low of 48.7 in March, from 49.3 in February, compared with expectations of a slight increase.
A preliminary reading of HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China fell to a four-month low.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 78.48 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 13,046.14.
The S&P 500 index shed 0.7% to 1392.78. with FedEx falling 3.5% after delivering a disappointing earnings outlook and cutting its economic growth forecast.
The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.4% to 3063.32.
European markets were in broad decline, with the Stoxx Europe 600 down 1.2% at 265.49.
The UK's FTSE 100 index fell 0.8% to 5845.65, Germany's DAX closed down 1.3% at 6981.26, and France's CAC-40 index slid 1.6% at 3472.46.
In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite eased 0.1% to 2375.77 and Korea's Kospi shed 0.1% to 2026.12.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index snapped a four-session losing streak to gain 0.2% to 20901.56.
India's Sensex index slid 2.3% to 17196.47, its lowest close in more than two weeks.
Japan's Nikkei Stock Average firmed 0.4% to 10,127.08, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.5% to 4273.70.
Crude-oil futures dropped 2.4% to $US104.68 a barrel, while gold futures declined 0.8% to $US1637 an ounce.
The US dollar lost ground versus the yen but strengthened against the euro.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
Most listened to
- Tim Hunter on why Veritas is doing it the hard way
- Matthew Hooton on whether Steven Joyce will be the next national leader
- Rodney Hide on why all city planners should be fired
- Nevil Gibson discusses his latest Editor's Insight on films
- The NBR crew throw around some of the week's top stories
- Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was
- "A tragedy" - David Farrar on his disappointment with Simon Bridges
- New F&P product pipeline exciting, says Macquarie senior investment adviser Brad Gordon
- Taupo Motorsport Park executive director Tony Walker on the park's rebranding
- NZIER senior economist Christina Leung on why she does not think the OCR will hit 2%
- NBR's Cameron Officer talks about the NBR Car of the Year 2015
- John Barnett on Brewer: ‘Boy, has he got a bit to learn’