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
- Mark Weldon couldn't hack the pressure, says Bill Ralston
- TEU’s Sandra Grey and NZ Initiative's Oliver Hartwich on whether the UoA should be a funder or member of the NZ Initiative
- Capital Economics's Paul Dales says the RBA and the RBNZ are in very similar positions
- ANZ Bank CEO David Hisco on the forces behind his bank's profit and margin slide
- Houzz's Jason Chuck says there was plenty of demand in New Zealand for Houzz