London's FTSE 100 was down 0.4%, and Germany's DAX was broadly flat.
Asian markets followed Wall Street down after the Dow entered "correction" territory for the first time in two years.
Among the actives, Galaxy Entertainment surged 3.00 percent, while China Petroleum and Chemical (Sinopec) plummeted 2.19 percent, BOC Hong Kong soared 2.15 percent, Sands China spiked 2.01 percent, CNOOC tumbled 1.88 percent, Kunlun Energy skidded 1.63 percent, Tingyi Holdings advanced 1.35 percent, Hang Lung Properties dropped 1.13 percent, Li & Fung jumped 1.05 percent, China Resources Land climbed 0.90 percent, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China shed 0.89 percent, China Life lost 0.82 percent, New World Development fell 0.69 percent, Ping An Insurance added 0.36 percent, Hong Kong & China Gas gained 0.27 percent, Lenovo Group slid 0.24 percent and Belle International and China Resources Power Holdings were unchanged. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was the worst hit among major Asian bourses.
Financial analysts regard corrections as a normal event but say the latest unusually abrupt plunge might have been triggered by a combination of events that rattled investors.
But investors are anxious about inflation and the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates faster than previously anticipated in order to rein it in. "With financial markets vulnerable at the moment, this was not great timing for such political brinksmanship".
"We are still in the depth of market volatility as sentiment was hurt by the double whammy of U.S. market turmoil and deleveraging efforts at home", said Wu Kan, a Shanghai-based fund manager at Shanshan Finance.
The Shanghai Composite index closed down 1.43 per cent at 3,262.05 points and its blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.95 per cent to 4,012.05. In South Korea, the Kospi finished down 1.8%, as Lotte Shopping and Kakao lost more than 7% each. Even after this week's losses, the S&P 500 index is up 12.5 percent over the past year. The Nasdaq rose 97 points, or 1.4%, to 6,874.
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Since then, the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 have fallen 10 percent, Wall Street's traditional definition of a correction.
"The bet on blue-chips was getting too concentrated, so a big correction was just a matter of time", he said. Employers are hiring at a healthy pace, with unemployment at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The housing industry is solid and manufacturing is rebounding.
Investors from Hong Kong-Shanghai Stock Connect are more seasoned, and they usually go against the crowd.
The Bank of England said that interest rates probably need to rise sooner and by a bit more than it thought only three months ago, which boosted sterling.
He said the Vix volatility index - also known as the "fear index" - had spiked sharply this year "and that means there is no confidence about going out and filling your boots with stocks". Many investors justified that by pointing out that interest rates were low and few alternatives looked like better investments.
Meanwhile, the dollar weakened against the euro and the pound, and strengthened against the yen. The euro dipped to $1.2244 from $1.2248.
US crude futures were down 1.1 percent at $60.53 per barrel amid fears of rising global supplies. It fell 64 cents the previous session to $61.15. It retreated 70 cents on Thursday to $68.81.