Europe's main stock markets retreated on Thursday as poor US unemployment data added to eurozone recession gloom.
Paris' benchmark CAC 40 (Paris: ^FCHI - news) index of leading companies fell 0.36 percent to 3,967.79 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 $1.2903 from $1.2884 late in New York on Wednesday, when it had fallen as low as $1.2843 -- last seen in early April.
"Poor eurozone growth data is weighing, and even stronger than expected economic growth in Japan...is not helping to improve sentiment," said Anita Paluch at traders Gekko Global Markets.
She noted that the market's would later turn to weekly US jobless claims, which rose and came in higher than expected.
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 132.10 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 102.37 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 sank as low as $1,369.85 per ounce in morning trading. That was the lowest level since April 18. It later stood at $1,377 down from $1,410 late on Wednesday.
US stocks opened mixed Thursday after two record-setting days, with US economic data confirming the March-April lull but also pointing to continued Fed easing.
Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had edged down 0.09 percent to 15,262.63 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.14 percent to 1,656.47 points, while the Nasdaq Composite 0.12 percent to 3,475.80 points.
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.
In European company movement, shares in Aviva (LSE: AV.L - news) surged nearly 8 percent to 348.70 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.