A roundup of trading on major world markets:
NEW YORK - US stocks were mostly lower in opening trade after strong reports on US economic growth in the third quarter and jobless claims.
Five minutes into trade on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 30.79 (0.19 per cent) to 15,858.98.
The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 3.40 (0.19 per cent) to 1,789.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged 0.54 (0.01 per cent) higher to 4,038.54.
The Dow and S&P 500 have declined the last four trading sessions.
The Commerce Department said that the US economy grew by a speedy 3.6 per cent in the third quarter, much higher than the original estimate of 2.8 per cent.
Meanwhile, first-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell sharply in the last week of November to 298,000, far below the average of recent months.
LONDON - European stock markets fell and the euro strengthened, as jitters over the fate of monetary stimulus from the US Federal Reserve overshadowed an improved growth forecast for the eurozone by the European Central Bank (ECB).
Traders largely shrugged off decisions by the ECB and the Bank of England to hold key rates, fixing their focus instead on the fate of US stimulus that has boosted markets to record highs.
At close on Thursday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 0.18 per cent at 6,498.33 points.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 fell 0.61 per cent to 9,084.95 points and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.17 per cent to 4,099.91 points.
In foreign exchange activity, the euro climbed to $US1.3674 - the highest level since late October. It later stood at $US1.3670, up from $US1.3591 on Wednesday.
HONG KONG - Asian markets fell as a batch of strong US data fuelled expectations the US Federal Reserve will start to wind down its stimulus measures as early as this month.
Japanese shares were sold for a second straight session on Thursday on the back of a strengthening yen after it touched six-month lows against the US dollar earlier in the week, while flag-carrier Qantas dragged on Sydney after it announced a huge jobs cull.
Tokyo lost 1.50 per cent, or 230.45 points, to close at 15,177.49, Sydney shed 1.44 per cent, or 75.8 points, to 5,198.0 and Seoul was 0.10 per cent off, dipping 2.03 points to 1,984.77.
Shanghai finished 0.21 per cent, or 4.70 points, lower at 2,247.06 while Hong Kong was flat, edging down 16.13 points to 23,712.57.
WELLINGTON - The benchmark index shed 14.206 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 4719.949.