Europe's main stock markets ended mixed on Thursday as poor US unemployment data added to eurozone recession gloom.
Paris' benchmark CAC 40 (Paris: ^FCHI - news) index of leading companies fell 0.08 percent to finish at 3,979.07 points, a day after data also showed that the French economy returned to recession in the first quarter.
In foreign exchange deals, the European single currency rose to $1.2894 from $1.2884 late in New York on Wednesday, when it had fallen as low as $1.2843 -- last seen in early April.
Michael Hewson, a senior analyst at CMC Markets UK, said that although the DAX hit a new all-time high in the morning, and the FTSE enjoyed another multi-year high, the disappointing US data caused them to later retreat.
"Following on from yesterday's disappointing data, we've seen a disappointing miss on US jobless claims which knocked stocks back off their intraday highs, while inflation data in the US also seemed to suggest that talk of potential Fed tapering continues to be somewhat premature," Hewson said.
The consumer price index for April -- down 0.4 percent from March -- confirmed there was little inflationary pressure on the economy that would prod the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy.
Meanwhile a sharp jump to 360,000 in the weekly jobless claims numbers confirmed the Fed's justification for its expansive policy as necessary to reduce unemployment.
Hewson added, however, that owing to investor confidence that European central banks remain ready to intervene, "means each dip will be a shallow one".
Official data showed on Wednesday that the crisis-hit eurozone economy shrank by 0.2 percent between January and March.
That marked the sixth quarterly shrinkage running of economic output across the 17 states that share the euro.
Nevertheless European equities had advanced on Wednesday on investors hopes that the data could spark more monetary policy easing from the European Central Bank.
Asian shares traded mixed on Thursday despite another record US stocks close and fresh data that showed Japan's economy grew faster than expected in the quarter to March.
Official data showed Japan's economy expanded by 0.9 percent between January and March, an early sign of success in Tokyo's bid to boost long-tepid growth in the world's third largest economy.
However, Tokyo stocks fell 0.39 percent in reaction, while Hong Kong climbed 0.17 percent and Shanghai rallied 1.21 percent.
The yen meanwhile remained under pressure after reaching multi-year peaks Tuesday on the back of Japan's vast monetary easing policies.
On Thursday, the euro rose to 131.83 yen, from 131.72 yen late on Wednesday, when it had jumped to 132.77 yen -- a level last seen in January 2010.
And the dollar climbed to 102.24 yen from 102.23 yen, one day after striking 102.76 yen -- the highest point since October 2008.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold finished at $1,381 per ounce, from $1,410 late on Wednesday, after sinking as low as $1,369.85 per ounce in morning trade. That was the lowest level since April 18.
On Wall Street, stocks were mixed after two record-setting days, with US economic data confirming the March-April lull but also pointing to continued Fed easing.
In noon trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.06 percent, the Nasdaq Composite had added 0.28 percent, and the broad-based S&P 500 increased by 0.04 percent.
In European company movement, shares in Aviva (LSE: AV.L - news) surged 7.24 percent to 346.50 pence, topping the FTSE 100 index, after the British insurer on Thursday said that the value of its new business rallied 18 percent in the first quarter.