U.S. stock market indexes declined in Wednesday's midday trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ lost 1.5 percent while the S&P 500 fell 1.7 percent.
European stock prices were sharply lower at the close of trading. London's Financial Times index lost one percent to end at 5,743. The CAC-40 in Paris slipped 1.5 percent to finish at 3,807 and the DAX index in Frankfurt fell 1.3 percent to hit 7,115.
Earlier Wednesday in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei index gained three-tenths of a percent to finish at 9,574. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost seven-tenths of a percent to finish the day's trading at 22,344.
The price of gold rose nearly $3 to trade at $1,521.20 an ounce.
The dollar rose against the yen and the euro.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.