US Jobs Data Drag Global Markets Lower
In Europe, the PMI of overall economic activity in the 17-country eurozone was at 46.6 points in August, up only slightly from July's 46.5.
Analysts said the number shows the eurozone is firmly in recession, which will hurt efforts to reduce debt and boost investor confidence. Any improvement is likely to depend on governments and central banks doing more to reform their economies and boost demand.
The European Central Bank is expected to present in coming weeks a plan to help indebted countries like Spain and Italy by buying their government bonds.
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will travel to Germany on Friday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and to France on Saturday for talks with President Francois Hollande.
Samaris is asking that Greece be given more time to meet deficit targets and implement reforms. Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, poured cold water on that idea, saying more time would not solve Greece's problems.
In currencies, the dollar rose to 78.625 yen, while the euro declined slightly to $1.256 after gaining the previous day on expectations the United States would pump more greenbacks into its economy.
Benchmark oil for October delivery fell 49 cents to $95.77 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1 to finish Thursday at $96.26 per barrel.