Stocks on Wall Street fell on Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi disappointed investors hoping for immediate action to contain the euro zone debt crisis.
Mr Draghi said the ECB will gear up to buy Italian and Spanish bonds on the open market but would only act after euro zone governments have activated bailout funds to do the same.
The Dow Jones Index fell 92 points, or 0.7%, to close at 12,879 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 10 points, or 0.4%, at 2910.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 index in London was down 0.9%, the DAX in Frankfurt was down 2.2% and CAC-40 in Paris was down 2.7%.
The Nikkei index in Tokyo was up 11 points at 8653.
The Australian 200 Index was up 7 points, or 0.2%, at 4270 and the NZX 50 fell 33 points, or 0.9%, to close at 3564.
At 8.30am on Friday, the New Zealand dollar was trading at 80.98 US cents, 77.40 Australian cents, 52.16 pence, 63.30 yen and 0.6641 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 73.17.
Brent crude oil was trading at $US108.31 per barrel and gold was at $US1585.70 per ounce.