Europe's main stock markets beat a retreat on Thursday, as investor sentiment was knocked by a raft of poor company results, dealers said.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.72 percent to stand at 6,750.58 points in midday deals.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 dived 1.58 percent to 9,509.95 points and the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.78 percent to 4,362.66 points.
The euro firmed against the dollar.
Concerns over what would be a catastrophic default by Ukraine saw the local currency take a 9.6-percent plunge to a record low of 11.5 hryvnias against the dollar in afternoon trading
In London, shares in Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) tumbled 9.15 percent to 321.60 pence after the state-rescued lender revealed that losses soared to almost £9.0 billion last year on legal charges and the creation of a 'bad bank'.
Net losses widened 49 percent to £8.995 billion ($15.0 billion, 10.9 billion euros) in 2013, RBS said in a results statement as it unveiled major new restructuring plans that will result in yet more job losses.
That compared with a loss after tax of £6.055 billion in 2012.
The Edinburgh-based bank, which is 81-percent state-owned after the world's biggest bailout during the global financial crisis, added it will slash its cost base by another £5.3 billion in the coming years and warned of more "inevitable" job cuts.
Allianz topped the fallers board in Frankfurt after the company, Europe's leading insurer disappointed investors with its fourth-quarter earnings.
The group's share price slid 3.89 percent to 125.9 euros.
Allianz added however that it would pay shareholders an increased dividend of 5.30 euros per share for 2013, compared with 4.50 euros a year earlier.
In Paris, Areva stock plunged by 14.01 percent to 18.78 euros after the French nuclear power group reported a net loss for the third year running.
Areva revealed that it had taken heavy charges for its deeply troubled contract to build a new-generation EPR nuclear reactor in Finland.
The group also warned that sales this year would suffer from persistent problems for the nuclear energy market.
Areva logged a net loss of 494 million euros ($675 million).
French computer group Bull meanwhile reported a net profit slump, sending its shares diving.
The company, which has gone through years of restructuring and strategy refocusing, said that net profit last year fell by almost two-thirds from the 2012 level to 10.9 million euros ($14.9 billion).
The price of Bull shares dropped 8.61 percent to 3.61 euros.
In foreign exchange deals on Thursday, the European single currency rose to $1.3653, from $1.3683 late in New York on Wednesday.
The euro eased to 82.06 British pence from 82.10 pence on Wednesday. The pound slipped to $1.6640 from $1.6667.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold stood at $1,331.53, compared with $1,331.75 on Wednesday.