In Paris, the CAC 40 was off 33.24 points, or 1.02%, to 3,230.54 as the government defies the EU, saying it will cut taxes to improve business investment to bolster the economy.
Germany's DAX index gained 18.93 points, or 0.57%, at 3,326.27 as the Ifo business confidence survey rose for the fifth consecutive month and to a 2-1/2 year high. The expectations index soared. The reports give indication that the economy might improve.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed down 192.25 points, or 1.83%, at 10,310.04, piggybacking on Wednesday's close on Wall Street, which was hurt by OPEC's decision to cut oil production. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index eased 9.37 points, or 0.08%, to finish at 11,286.52.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX sank 88.97 points, or 1.17%, to 7,513.37.