The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1% at the start of trading, with travel and leisure stocks shedding 2.3% to lead losses as all sectors and major bourses slid into the red.
Coronavirus developments continue to weigh on investor sentiment as cases surge in Europe. The number of daily reported coronavirus cases in the U.K. has jumped by a quarter in the past day, according to the BBC. The U.K. reported 6,178 cases, up by 1,252 since Tuesday, as the country grapples with a surge this month. Meanwhile, two German government ministers, Heiko Maas and Peter Altmaier, are now in quarantine after close contacts received positive coronavirus tests.
Elsewhere, Asia-Pacific markets also saw losses, following a drop on Wall Street Wednesday due to uncertainty over the pandemic.