The FTSE shed 44 points (-0.8%) to settle at 5678, whilst the CAC (-0.5%) and DAX (-0.8%) incurred similar losses.
Third-quarter gross domestic product for the 17-member eurozone fell 0.1% on the quarter, or 0.4% on an annualised basis, following a 0.7 per cent annualised decline in the second quarter.
UK retail sales slid 0.8 per cent in October versus expectations of a 0.2 per cent monthly decline. Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 29 points (-0.2%) to settle at 12542, whilst the S&P (-0.2%) and NASDAQ (-0.4%) were also weaker.
US stocks pared their declines in late trading but remained in the red, hurt by middling economic data and global political uncertainty. Economic data provided a mixed view of the state of the US recovery, with readings obscured by superstorm Sandy.
Initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week jumped to 439,000, well above the 375,000 claims expected by economists, because of the storm.
The Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index for November came in lower than expected, with its reading of -10.7 indicating contraction. The consumer-price index for October rose 0.1% on the month, in line with economist expectations.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Empire State index of manufacturing activity for November improved slightly, to -5.2 in November from -6.2 in October. However, it indicates the fourth-consecutive month of contraction.
Front-month crude-oil futures fell 1% to $US85.45 a barrel, while November gold futures eased 0.9% to $US1715.20 an ounce.
The US dollar lost ground against the euro, but rallied against the yen. Yields on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bond fell to 1.591% as prices rose.
There is no major local economic data due out for today’s session.