Germany's DAX index fell 19.27 points, or 0.48%, to 4,029.33 following news that German unemployment rose 44,000 to 10.4% in March from 10.3% in February, clouding the outlook for growth in Europe's largest economy after three years of stagnation.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 29.25 points, or 0.77%, to 3,751.95.
Asian markets finished higher Tuesday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index rose 121.38 points, or 1.02%, to close at 12,079.7 -- closing above 12,000 for the first time since August, 2001. Advantest Corp. and Fuji Photo Film gained as a rally in the dollar erased concern the value of exporters' sales will be eroded. Banks such as Mizuho Financial Group advanced, making them the best group performer as the government report signaled that the world's second largest economy (Japan) will expend further.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gained 155.21 points, or 1.22%, to close at 12,886.97
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 26.72, or 0.30%, to 8,831.77.