By noon in mainland Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 0.56 per cent at 4,267.96, Germany’s DAX fell 0.26 per cent to 4,632.58 and France’s CAC 40 sank 0.24 per cent to 3,115.42.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average fell 107.59, or 1.3 per cent, to 7969.03, while South Korea’s Kospi was off 0.6 per cent at 1,202.69. Singapore and New Zealand stock markets also lost ground.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 0.8 per cent to 13,769.06 in a volatile session that saw the benchmark turn negative. Boosting Hong Kong was trade in China, where the Shanghai index extended its recent gains by two per cent. Stock measures in Australia, Taiwan and India were higher as well.