European stocks finished lower for the third straight session on Thursday. Bank continued to be hammered, along with retailers, due to deepening concern about the economic slowdown. That also caused further sharp drops in the price of oil and metals.
News from across the Atlantic had investors jittery, including the announcement of a wider than expected US trade deficit and more weak jobs data.
Markets are also concerned about the possible plight of embattled investment bank Lehman Brothers.
The US dollar has risen to its highest level in a year against the euro and a basket of currencies.
One euro dropped well below $1.40 as investors worry that Europe’s economies will grow at a slower pace than the US.