European markets fell and Asian markets were mixed Friday as investors digested uneven readings on the U.S. economy and oil prices that remained near records. Japan posted its 12th straight day of losses.
Trading was subdued as U.S. financial markets were closed for the Fourth of July holiday.
In Europe, Britain's FTSE-100 closed down 1.2% to 5,412.8, Germany's DAX fell 1.3% to 6,272.21, and France's CAC-40 slid 1.8% to 4,266.
In Asia, Indonesia's main index rebounded after selling off nearly 4% the previous session. Hong Kong and Australian equities also were higher.
With stocks hit hard recently, some Asian investors were returning to the market to take advantage of lower prices. Others who bet on falling prices were taking profits.
"Investors are still bearish; we've been down a lot in the past few weeks. But even those bears are a bit hesitant on selling at this level," said Y.K. Chan, fund manager at Phillip Capital Management in Hong Kong.
Markets in Japan, China, South Korea and Malaysia lost ground.
The current market climate in Europe is "a bit morose anyway" because of the high price of oil and the credit crunch, said Andrew Bell, head of research at Rensburg Sheppards, an investment management company in Britain.
Unlike in the first quarter of the year, when "people were genuinely panicking because they didn't feel confident in the banking system," Bell said that "fear of the whole system unraveling" wasn't a factor today.
"But that doesn't stop the markets falling, because company earnings are being squeezed by rising costs, weaker economic growth and tighter credit," he said.
UBS shares rose after Switzerland's biggest bank said it expected second-quarter results to be "at or slightly below break-even" because of a tax credit that would offset investment losses and added that it wouldn't need to seek more capital this year. Analysts had been expecting a loss of as much as $4.9 billion.
Investors got little guidance from the U.S. overnight after a mixed assessment on the economy. Though the country's service sectors shrank, a tame job report eased some worries about the labor market.
Oil prices slipped toward $144 a barrel in electronic trading by the afternoon in Europe. The contract hit a record trading high at $145.85 a barrel Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225-stock average fell 0.2% to 13,237.89 points. The index has shed more than 8% of its value over the 12-day fall -- the longest losing streak since 1954.
The market was dragged down by real estate firms, paper makers, retailers and power companies.
Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng index climbed nearly 0.9% to 21,423.82.
Financials helped lift the market amid reports that Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender, expected net profit to rise 50% in the first half. ICBC shares climbed 2%.
In China, the key Shanghai index skidded 1.2%, ending at 2,669.89.