Frankfurt's DAX 30 index was down 0.32 percent to 10,131.69 points
London - AFP
Europe's main stock markets sank Tuesday as investors continued to fret over the broader global impact of China's economic slowdown, dealers said.
Around midday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid 0.33 percent to 6,331.10 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index also dropped 0.33 percent to 10,130 points and the Paris CAC 40 shed 0.79 percent to 4,667.10.
Markets had traded mixed on Monday as investors mulled news that China's economy expanded in the third quarter at its slowest rate since early 2009 at the height of the global financial crisis.
"European equities ... continue to struggle with deciphering the weak Chinese GDP figure yesterday and how much of a warning flag it should be for the rest of the global economy," said Jonathan Sudaria at London Capital Group on Tuesday.
"Should this be a case of bad news is good news, and expect the central banks to pump up equities in the near future, or does a more sinister path lie ahead -- such as the one put out by Citi recently that suggests China could drag everyone down into a global recession?"
The US bank had warned late last week that there was a risk of a "contagious slowdown" from China and other emerging markets that "increased the likelihood of a global recession" next year.
In London on Tuesday, the mining sector fell heavily for a second consecutive day on stubborn demand fears because the Asian powerhouse is a leading consumer of many commodities.
BHP Billiton sank 2.01 percent to 1,074 pence, Rio Tinto shed 1.35 percent to 2,407 pence and Glencore lost 1.55 percent to 108.30 pence.
China also remained in focus after India's Tata Steel axed about 1,200 jobs at two plants in Britain, blaming the move in part on cheap Chinese imports.
- Xi seeking closer ties -
The Tata announcement coincided with the start of a four-day visit to Britain by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is aiming to build closer business ties.
French and British media have reported that China has agreed to take a stake in French power giant EDF's £25 billion (34-billion-euro) next-generation nuclear power project at Hinkley Point in Britain.
China is taking a 33.5-percent share in the construction of two reactors at Hinkley Point, southwestern England, in a deal signed by EDF with China General Nuclear Power Corporation and China National Nuclear Corporation, Les Echos newspaper said.
The agreement also foresees the possibility of building a Chinese "Hualong" nuclear reactor at Bradwell, southeastern England, which is also owned by EDF's British offshoot EDF Energy, the paper added.
London is looking to Xi's visit as an opportunity to seal the deal for Hinkley Point, two years after it first gave the green light for the project.
EDF, who declined to comment on the report, saw its share price rise 0.32 percent to 17.27 euros in Paris.
On the downside, Credit Agricole's share price sank 1.30 percent to 11.02 euros.
The French bank agreed overnight to pay $800 million to settle charges it flouted US sanctions in Iran and other countries, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
The settlement, part of a long-running US investigation of European banks for illicit dollar transactions with nations under US sanctions, will be announced this week, possibly as soon as Tuesday, the source said.
In Tuesday's foreign exchange deals, the euro rose to $1.1355 from $1.1322 late in New York on Monday before Thursday's interest rate call from the European Central Bank.