World stock markets were mostly lower Thursday after U.S. and Chinese data pointed to slower growth in the world's two biggest economies, AP reported.
Analysts are concerned about a buildup of disappointing indicators from the two countries whose economic heft is critical to powering a global recovery. The latest alarm bells rang out of Washington on Wednesday with the release of employment and manufacturing growth that failed to live up to expectations.
European stock markets were mostly down in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 6,442.82. Germany's DAX rose less than 0.1 percent to 7,919.95. France's CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent at 3,848.38.
Wall Street appeared headed for early gains. Dow Jones industrial futures rose 0.2 percent to 14,667 and S&P 500 futures were 0.2 percent higher at 1,580.70.
Asian equity markets, many of which were closed Wednesday for a public holiday, fell as investors displayed caution ahead of Friday's release of U.S. employment figures April.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8 percent to close at 13,694.04. South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 percent at 1,956.39. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 0.7 percent to 5,130.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 22,668.30, driven by profit-taking after five days of gains, analysts said. Benchmarks in Singapore and Taiwan rose, while Indonesia fell. Mainland Chinese shares were mixed.
Data showing a deceleration in factory activity in the U.S. and China for April hurt investor sentiment.