Europe's main stock markets wobbled on Wednesday in volatile trade as investors were rattled by ongoing Chinese economic jitters after slender losses in Shanghai.
The region's equities had earlier rebounded -- but turned mixed on the back of the falling Chinese market and sliding oil prices.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies fell 0.11 percent to stand at 6,052.50 points nearing midday as the energy sector was hit by falling oil prices.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 added just 0.05 percent to 10,003 and the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.10 percent to 4,546.10, having both swung in and out of negative territory.
The Madrid IBEX 35 meanwhile dropped 0.14 percent to 9,980.30 points.
"At the moment there's a vicious circle of volatility; the wild price swings have put investors on edge, causing them to act more rashly which leads to more violent prices moves," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.
"The German DAX and French CAC swung from early gains to losses after apparent state-supported buying from brokers failed to help the Chinese benchmark Shanghai Composite close higher.
"It is another sign of fading confidence in the ability of Chinese authorities to contain the rout."
European stocks had tumbled on Tuesday as weak manufacturing data increased concerns about the flagging Chinese economy.
- Oil companies slide -
The energy sector was pressured Wednesday by falling world oil prices, which dent the profits of majors like BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total.
In London, BP stock fell 1.32 percent to 344.80 pence, while Shell saw its "A" share price slide 1.28 percent to 1,617 pence.
And in Paris, shares in French titan Total dropped 1.04 percent to 39.99 euros.
Oil prices fell sharply further Wednesday as dealers digested weak US and Chinese manufacturing data, while expectations of a bearish US stockpiles report also weighed on the market.
In Asian stock markets on Wednesday, Shanghai and Hong Kong stocks sank in rocky trade as investors were gripped once again by ongoing fears over China's economic crisis.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged down 0.20 percent, having earlier slumped by as much as 4.66 percent.
He added that "the energy sector has... suffered on the back of renewed oil price weakness."
Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 1.18 percent in similarly volatile trade.
Some investors had speculated that the government would not allow the market to fall sharply ahead of Thursday's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory over Japan and the end of World War II. Markets will be closed for two days for the holiday with trading resuming on Monday.
The government has already launched a rescue package to prop up the market, which includes funding state-backed China Securities Finance Corp. (CSF) to buy shares, but investors worry the government will reduce its intervention.
In foreign exchange deals in London on Wednesday, the euro rose to $1.1270 on the eve of a crucial interest rate decision from the European Central Bank.
On the London Bullion Market, gold declined to $1,139.51 per ounce from $1,142.30.