Shares were higher in Europe on Thursday after a mixed day of trading in Asia, where most major benchmarks declined.
Germany's DAX picked up 0.6 per cent to 15,713.53, while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.8 per cent to 6,633.67. In London, the FTSE 100 advanced 0.5 per cent to 7,048.93.
US futures were little changed, while the yield on the 10-year Treasury was steady at 1.31 per cent.
Hong Kong and Shanghai dropped amid disappointing economic data for August.
China reported late Wednesday that its retail sales grew an anemic 2.5 per cent in August, down from 8.5 per cent in July, while factory output slowed to 5.3 per cent from 6.4 per cent the month before.
It was the slowest growth in output since May 2020.
“Yesterday's China data were a real shock," RaboResearch Global Economics & Markets said in a report. “This is hardly what one calls a robust consumer recovery," it said.
Adding to investors' unease, reports said troubled property giant Evergrande would fail to make interest payments due next week. Rating agencies have warned the cash-strapped company could default on its debt.
Its Hong Kong traded shares fell 6.4 per cent on Thursday. They have lost more than half their value in the past month.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong declined 1.5 per cent to 24,667.85, while the Shanghai Composite index sank 1.3 per cent to 3,607.09.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.6 per cent to 30,323.34 after Japan reported that its exports rose 26.2 per cent in August from a year earlier. That was well below forecasts for a rise of over 30 per cent, Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
The preliminary customs data showed vehicle exports, a mainstay for the economy, slipped 1.1 per cent while car exports declined 1.5 per cent.
Shortages of semiconductors and other components that have prompted some car manufacturers to cut output, and demand has been hit by recent new waves of coronavirus outbreaks.
In Seoul, the Kospi lost 0.7 per cent to 3,130.09.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 per cent to 7,460.20. Shares fell in Taiwan but rose in Singapore and India.
On Wednesday, energy and technology companies helped lift stocks on Wall Street broadly higher, reversing the market's pullback from a day earlier.
The S&P 500 rose 0.8 per cent to 4,480.70 after another day of choppy trading. It was the biggest daily gain for the benchmark index since late August and it put the S&P 500 on pace to close the week higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.7 per cent to 34,814.39. The Nasdaq composite added 0.8 per cent to 15,161.53. Small-company stocks did even better, with the Russell 2000 index gaining 1.1 per cent, to 2,234.45.
Wall Street will get get more information on jobs and consumer spending on Thursday when the Labor Department releases its weekly report on unemployment benefits and the Commerce Department releases retail sales data for August.
In other trading, benchmark US crude oil fell 8 cents more, at USD 72.53 per barrel. Brent crude, the standard for international pricing, gained 1 cent to $75.47 per barrel.
In currency trading, the dollar was flat at 109.38 Japanese yen. The euro fell to $1.1776 from $1.1817.