In Paris, the CAC 40 fell 19.14 points, or 0.56%, to 3,406.05. Germany's DAX index lost 16.37 points, or 0.44%, to 3,729.87, ignoring reports ZEW consumer confidence rose to a 16-month high and September exports rose 5.3% due to increased U.S. demand.
Asian markets finished down sharply as investors interpreted a tech-led decline in the U.S. as a sign that economic recovery is already priced into the market. Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 297.50 points, or 2.83%, to finish at 10,207.04. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 153.06 points, or 0.26%, to 12,003.62.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 43.22 points, or 0.55%, to 7,772.24.