The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed the session provisionally down by 1.95 percent to 359.65, with financial services and oil and gas stocks leading the losses. A dramatic sell-off on Wall Street in the previous session had prompted the European benchmark to fall to its its lowest level in more than 21 months before it recovered slightly.
However that up tick was short-lived as renewed selling on both sides of the Atlantic gathered pace. At one point in the mid-afternoon, the two-day loss on the Dow Jones Industrial Average had reached 1,100 points.
In London, the FTSE 100 in London shed 1.94 percent on Thursday. In Germany the DAX finished off by 1.36 percent, while stocks listed on the CAC 40 in Paris lost 1.79 percent on average.