European shares have fallen sharply as concerns grow about eurozone debt levels and the general health of the global economy.
The main share index in Frankfurt was down 3.5% while indexes in London and Paris dropped by about 2.5% on Wednesday.
In the United States, figures showed the services sector fell in July to its lowest level since February last year, while new factory orders fell in June, pulled down by weak demand for transportation equipment.
The news followed weaker-than-expected manufacturing data earlier this week.
US stocks opened lower but the Dow Jones gained in afternoon trading to close 0.25% higher, while the S&P 500 rose 0.5%, the BBC reports.