European shares fell further on Thursday after an initial rise, hitting new 11-month lows.
The price of copper and other metals dropped amid concern over demand following recent weak economic data.
Britain’s top share index also hit a new low for the year, reaching levels not seen since September 2010.
Banks fell back amid a series of disappointing earnings.
The markets’ fall came despite some strong corporate results, but analysts talk of a “fear factor” over debt in the euro zone and the state of the US economy.
There is uncertainty over how the Federal Reserve will respond to low growth and the poor recovery.
Wall Street was sharply lower in early trading on a weakening outlook for the global economy and with investors seeing the latest jobs figures as a further sign that the US economy has stalled.
They took little comfort from the fact that new claims for unemployment benefits edged down last week. They totaled 400,000 showing only a limited improvement.
The closely-watched monthly payroll numbers are out tomorrow which may give further indications of the slowdown in the world’s biggest economy.