Germany's DAX index lost 58.44 points, or 1.41%, to 4,087.55 as economic adviser Ruerup said there's no need for the European Central Bank to cut rates to bolster the economy. German industrial production fell 0.1%, but that is in line with expectations and might have been weather related.
In Paris, the CAC 40 gave up 44.35 points, or 1.17%, to 3,737.03 amid reports that French public debt rose to a 7-year high in 2003 and that fourth quarter new home sales rose 13%.
In Asia, markets finished mixed overnight. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index added 29.18 points, or 0.25%, to 11,532.04, with bank stocks contributing the most to the advance.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 176.29 points, or 1.3%, to 13,397.25.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 50.90 points, or 0.58%, to 8,750.31.