In Paris, the CAC 40 lost 37.63 points, or 1.13% at 3,291.36. Germany's DAX index was down 48.96 points, or 1.38% at 3,500.09, despite press speculation that business confidence might have improved.
Asian markets finished mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index lost 4.53 points, or 0.04%, to finish at 10,276.64, amid profit taking and disappointing July retail sales data. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 3.49 points, or 0.03%, to close at 10,764.22.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 26.03 points, or 0.35%, to 7,441.15.