World shares hovered near record highs on Thursday after downbeat Chinese manufacturing data kept pressure on Beijing for more stimulus and the Federal Reserve signaled higher U.S. interest rates are still some way off.
European markets were largely subdued in morning trading, however, as weaker-than-expected German purchasing manager data (PMI) offset firmer figures in France. Equivalent U.S. figures are due at 1345 GMT.
Wall Street, which will also have a rise in jobless claims to digest, was expected to start the day weaker as Europe's main bourses pushed down as much as 0.6 percent and investors also offloaded bonds.
The euro gained though, hitting $1.1160 as the dollar retreated after Wednesday's signals the Federal Reserve is not yet confident enough to deliver a long-awaited rate rise.
Euro zone leaders will meet later in Latvia, with Greek premier Alexis Tsipras hoping to secure a broad outline of a cash-for-reforms deal to stave off a default.
But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told Reuters in an interview the Greek government's optimism about clinching a deal in the coming days was not justified and that he could not rule out it becoming insolvent.
"It is coming to a head," said Alvin Tan, a currency strategist at Societe Generale in London. "It looks like it will be difficult for Greece to make it through June without a new cash disbursement, so I think we are coming to the point where a deal is needed very soon, probably within the next two weeks."
The dollar drop was its first following a three-day mini-revival and came after minutes from the Federal Reserve's April meeting showed policymakers had all but ruled out a rate hike in June.
Traders took that as a cue to push back their bets on the timing of the move to the turn of the year.
The European Central Bank, which recently started a 1 trillion-euro stimulus programme, released the minutes of its most recent meeting, but they provided little fresh insight.
They showed the bank's policymakers were pleased with the progress of its bond buying, but the minutes were from its April meeting, before the recent sell-off in bond markets started.