Frankfurt - European shares slumped more than 2 per cent in opening trading Wednesday, picking up on a downbeat end to Wall Street and steep falls in Asia.
As renewed concerns emerged about the outlook for the global economy and profits, Europe's blue-chip Stoxx 50 began the trading day down 2.5 per cent at 2,286 points.
The fall was mirrored across key national European markets with shares in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich all sliding by more than
2 per cent.
Fresh economic concerns resulted in the oil price dropping by 3.3 per cent below 70 dollars a barrel on expectations of falling demand for energy. In July energy prices were heading towards 150 dollars a barrel.