The US August employment report on Friday was disappointing. Non-farm payrolls increased 96,000 last month, fewer than the downwardly-revised 141,000 increase in July and the 130,000 increase estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
A fall in the labour force, however, helped push the unemployment rate down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July.
Earlier on Friday, economic data from Japan had also been weak. Japan's leading economic index fell to 91.8 in July from 93.2 in June. The coincident index fell to 92.8 from 94.1.
Europe managed to provide positive economic data though.
UK industrial production surged 2.9 percent in July, the most in 25 years, reversing the 2.4 percent fall in June.
And China has launched another round of stimulus. AFP/CNA reports:
China has approved a massive infrastructure package worth more than 1.0 trillion yuan ($158 billion), state media said on Friday, as the government seeks to boost the flagging economy.
The top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission, this week announced approval of 55 infrastructure projects ranging from subway lines to highways, reports said.
China's stock market, which had been falling recently, rallied strongly on Friday following the news, with the Shanghai Composite Index rising 3.70 percent.