Slowing Chinese factory output and Germany only narrowly avoiding a recession have weighed on global stocks.
Global stocks have nudged down as Chinese economic data slowed in October and Germany only narrowly avoided a recession in the third quarter, adding to worries about the global growth fallout from the US-China trade war.
MSCIS All-Country World index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 0.14 per cent on Thursday after start of trading in Europe.
European shares fell after data showing the German economy grew just 0.1 per cent in the third quarter, avoiding edging into a mild contraction thanks to consumer spending, but remaining weak nevertheless.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 per cent, while Germanys DAX fell 0.4 per cent.
Bond markets also appeared to largely shrug off the growth reading, with most 10-year euro zone bond yields were down about two basis point in early trade, with Germanys 10-year benchmark at -0.32 per cent.
In Asia, stocks fell after soft economic data in China and Japan showed the trade war between Beijing and Washington was hitting growth in some of the worlds biggest economies.
MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 per cent. Japans Nikkei stock index fell further, dropping 0.8 per cent.
Australias S&P/ASX200 wiped earlier gains to close 0.5 per cent higher, while Shanghai blue chips were up 0.15 per cent, supported by expectations that the gloomy figures would add to the case for stimulus.
Chinas factory output growth slowed significantly more than expected in October, as weakness in global and domestic demand and the drawn-out Sino-US trade war weighed on broad segments of the worlds second-largest economy.
Fixed asset investment, a key driver of economic growth, rose just 5.2 per cent from January to October, against expected growth of 5.4 per cent and the weakest pace since Reuters record began in 1996.
China and the United States are holding in-depth discussions on a phase one trade agreement, and cancelling tariffs is an important condition to reach such a deal, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday.
Chinas industrial production growth slowed sharply in October, with the 4.7 per cent year-on-year rise well below forecasts for 5.4 per cent. Investment growth hit a record low and retail sales also missed expectations.
The weak figures also come as market confidence about a resolution being reached weakens, with a new Reuters poll showing most economists do not expect Washington and Beijing to strike a permanent truce over the coming year.
Trump offered no update on the progress of negotiations in a policy speech on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that talks had snagged on farm purchases.
US futures were down 0.14 per cent, following a record-high close on the S&P 500 on Wednesday.
Worries about spiralling violence as anti-government protests intensify in Hong Kong have also soured investor sentiment.
Hong Kongs Hang Seng fell 0.8 per cent to a fresh one-month low.
In currency markets, safe havens such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc gained.
The yen was quoted at 108.70 per US dollar, close to a one-week high. The Swiss franc traded at 0.9875 versus the greenback, near the highest in more than a week.
The greenback was 0.1 per cent lower against a basket of peers.
The Australian dollar skidded to a one-month low after a worryingly weak reading on employment reignited speculation about another cut in interest rates.
Oil rose after industry data showed a surprise drop in US crude inventories, while comments from an OPEC official about lower-than-expected US shale production growth in 2020 also provided some support.
Brent crude futures rose 0.74 per cent to $US62.83 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.77 per cent to $US57.56 per barrel.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes fell to 1.8514 per cent compared with its US close of 1.869 per cent on Wednesday.
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