The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down by 0.5%. Banks shed 2.1% while utilities bucked the broad downward trend to add 0.5%.
The cautious session follows mixed trading in Asia-Pacific overnight, where mainland Chinese and South Korean shares advanced while stocks in Hong Kong and Australia retreated slightly.
Stateside, stocks fell slightly on Tuesday as the market took a breather following a sharp rally in the previous session. Investors are preparing for the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, with a clear victory for either party likely to cause some market movement.
The U.K. and the European Union have indicated that a Brexit deal is still some way off after negotiations recommenced Monday over implementing their Withdrawal Agreement, which British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has sought to renege on.