Sam Meredith, Alexandra Gibbs
Tech stocks were the worst performers during early afternoon deals. The sector slipped more than 2.4 percent after sharp losses on Wall Street compounded souring market sentiment in Europe.
Europe's banking index also dipped around 2.4 percent by Tuesday afternoon amid heightened worries over slowing economic growth. British lender CYBG slumped to the bottom of the benchmark after the firm announced it was planning for a "period of uncertainty" in regards to Brexit negotiations. Shares tumbled nearly 11 percent on the news.
Looking at individual stocks, France's Renault lost a further 2.6 percent by Tuesday afternoon. That the second day of trade after it emerged Nissan's Chairman Carlos Ghosn had been arrested concerning allegations of financial misconduct.
On Monday, Nissan released a statement, saying that "over many years" Ghosn and board director, Greg Kelly, had been under-reporting compensation amounts to the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report. Most European automakers were negative on Tuesday, as the news showed no signs of respite.
Elsewhere, BTG soared to the top of the STOXX 600 on Tuesday. It comes after Boston Scientific announced it had agreed a cash deal to acquire the health care company, with the U.S. manufacturer offering 840 pence per share. Shares of BTG surged more than 34 percent higher on the news.
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That sentiment continued on Tuesday, with the Dow off by 500 points, or 2 percent, just half an hour into trade.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing opposition from across the political spectrum to the proposal, which must be approved by Parliament, with critics saying it could leave Britain indefinitely tied to the EU post-Brexit.
The European Union is expected to hold a summit to discuss Britain's draft withdrawal agreement on Sunday.
If the 27 remaining member states agree to sign off on the draft agreement later this month, the British government would then need to win over a majority of lawmakers at a crucial vote in early December.
Sterling partially rebounded from lows hit versus the dollar on Tuesday morning after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the central bank may not cut interest rates in the event of a no-deal withdrawal from Europe.