The tech sector was the worst performer, with Austrian chipmaker AMS falling close to 7 per cent and STMicroelectronics down about 4 per cent.
Luxury stocks were rattled by fears of a Chinese slowdown and a Morgan Stanley "underweight" call on luxury stocks.
Shares in France's LVMH fell 4.2 per cent, even though its fashion and leather goods unit did better than expect in the third quarter.
Concern over ebbing demand by Chinese consumers for branded goods has hit luxury stocks in recent days, as a trade war between Beijing and Washington simmers.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.36 per cent by 0819 GMT. Germany's DAX retreated 0.52 per cent and France's CAC 40 lost 0.7 per cent.
Britain's FTSE dropped 0.27 per cent as reports of progress in Brexit negotiations led to gains by sterling, which would hit the overseas revenues of British companies. Luxury group Burberry fell 4.4 per cent.
In Italy, Milan's FTSE MIB recovered after an initial fall and rose 0.1 per cent despite heavy losses from luxury clothing company Moncler, down 5.2 per cent.
Italian banks jumped 1.6 per cent as yields on the country's sovereign debt fell after Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria confirmed budget forecasts and said he expected a collaboration with the European Union over the budget.
Shares in VAT Group posted the worst performance overall on the STOXX 600, down 10.2 per cent. The Swiss industrial valves manufacturer said it would shorten work for some employees as demand softened in certain markets.
(With inputs from agencies.)