European stocks and the euro fell on Tuesday amid ongoing Greece concerns, mixed earnings data and news that commodities trader Glencore and mining group Xstrata had agreed to a $90 billion merger.
Approaching midday in London, the benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.32 percent to 5,873.43 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 0.77 percent to 6,713.26 points and in Paris the CAC 40 retreated 0.42 percent to 3,391.05.
The euro dipped to $1.3125 from $1.3129 late in New York on Monday.
"Greek worries are once again acting as the main drag on shares," said IG Index dealer Rupert Osborne.
"We continue to await news from Athens, and investors are switching to defensive stocks as news of a Greek deal continues to elude us."
He added: "Official confirmation of the terms of Glencore's bid for Xstrata has done nothing to lift the mining sector."
A general strike gripped Greece on Tuesday to warn against ever deeper austerity measures being demanded with increasing urgency by the European Union as part of a debt rescue deal with banks.
Greece is at the limit of a timetable to agree new budget measures, and to conclude a debt-write-off deal with banks, under a second rescue package which it needs to avoid debt default in about six weeks' time.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday blamed political parties for the failure to reach consensus on debt negotiations with the country's EU-IMF creditors.
Greece meanwhile raised 812.5 million euros in six-month debt on Tuesday paying 4.86-percent interest, a slightly lower rate than in a recent auction of a similar type.
"The Greece situation continues to be watched carefully by investors, though the fact that we have not seen a large correction in stock prices thus far indicates that they remain confident that despite the wrangling and delays, an agreement will arise," said Joshua Raymond, chief market strategist at City Index traders.
In company news, shares in Swiss-based Glencore and Swiss mining group Xstrata both fell in the wake of their merger announcement.
Glencore dropped 0.59 percent to 457.4 pence and Xstrata shed 2.77 percent to 1,226.5 pence in London deals. Both shares had surged last week following news that they were in merger talks.
BP shares meanwhile dropped 1.5 percent to 482.20 pence on profit-taking after the British energy giant posted annual net earnings of $23.9 billion ahead of a criminal trial linked to the US Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
BP announced adjusted profit after tax equivalent to 18.2 billion euros for 2011, as higher oil prices offset a drop in production, according to a group statement.
The company had suffered a loss of $4.9 billion in April 2010 when an explosion on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers, sent millions of barrels of oil into the sea and left the company with huge compensation costs.
Asia's major stock markets closed mostly lower on Tuesday, tracking overnight losses on Wall Street.