U.S. stocks fell for a second straight day on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst two-day loss since November after reports cast doubt over the health of the U.S. and euro-zone economies.
In Europe, business activity indexes dealt a blow to hopes that the euro zone might emerge from recession soon, showing the downturn across the region's businesses unexpectedly grew worse this month.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.34 percent, to 13,881 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 0.63 percent, to 1,502. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.04 percent, to close at 3,131.
Asian shares edged higher on Friday, recouping the previous day's steep losses, as investors reassessed the Federal Reserve's commitment to its current accommodative policy while weak U.S. and European data clouded growth prospects, limiting gains.
Among the sectoral indices, FMCG and Metal indies started in the red, losing 0.1% each. All the others were in the green with Health Care leading gains, up 1.5%.