In Europe the FTSE shed 23 points (-0.4%) to settle at 5525, whilst the CAC suffered a heavier 1.4% fall and the DAX slipped 0.1%.
The losses accelerated stateside, with the Dow Jones slumping 200 points (-1.7%) whilst the S&P 500 lost 2% and the Nasdaq gave up 2.3%.
The losses in the America snapped a three-session win streak for US stocks, with lacklustre earnings and economic reports that disappointed investors weighing.
The euro weakened against eight of its 16 major peers whilst the greenback slipped as much as 0.5% against the yen to touch a post-World War II low of 75.74 yen.
Oil jumped a further 2.1%, to US$97.17 a barrel, after adding 4.4% in the previous session, whilst gold and silver rallied at least 3% each as the safe-haven trade appeared to kick back in.
Today’s session will bring us the all important CPI numbers, slated for release at 11:30am, AEDT.