European shares dropped on Thursday, dragged down by Wall Street. Few stocks were not trading in the red.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed down 2.1% at 857.52 points, after a five-day series of rises.
Banks fell: HSBC, Banco Santander and Standard Chartered were down 2.5% - 4.2%.
Energy stocks were also lower as the price of crude oil fell by 2.4%. BG Group , BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total were down 1.9% - 3.4%.
Mining stocks slipped as copper lost 3.3%.
In Frankfurt, the DAX index fell 2.74% to 4,900.67 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 closed 2.6% lower at 3,217.41 points.
In London, the FTSE 100 index closed 2.75% lower at 4,345.47 points.
On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve issued a pessimistic view for economic recovery, denting optimism that had underpinned a recent rally by the stock markets.
In Japan, the Nikkei slipped 80.49 points, 0.86%, on Thursday to 9,264.15 in light trade, after a two-day rally.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was down 276.35 points, 1.58%, at 17,199.49.
In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 10.7 points, 0.28%, to 3,813.9. The index has lost around 3% over the last nine trading days. The All Ordinaries lost 4.2 points, or 0.11%, to 3,804.7.
In New Zealand, the NZX fell 24 points, 0.88%, to close at 2776 on turnover of $84 million.
Contact Energy lost 10 cents to $5.85 but Trustpower gained 5c to $7.80 after the release of a critical report of the electricity market by the the Commerce Commission.
Telecom slipped 4c to close at $2.58, while Fletcher Building lost 6c to $6.55.
Auckland International Airport Ltd fell 6c to $1.61.