London - Europe's main stock markets mostly headed south on Thursday after volatility caused by slowing Chinese growth concerns, a cloudy outlook for US interest rates, mixed eurozone data and the Volkswagen scandal.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell 0.31% to 6 013.31 points compared with Wednesday's close.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 slipped 0.13% to 9 599.91 points while the Paris CAC 40 edged up 0.04% to 4 434.70.
Europe's main stock markets closed higher Wednesday, recovering some of the previous session's sharp losses.
Asians indices mostly recovered Thursday after sharp losses a day earlier but Tokyo tumbled as investors returned from a long weekend.
Japanese dealers returned to the trading floor for the first time since Friday to catch up with hefty losses in global markets.
"Undoubtedly, uncertainties over the direction of US monetary policy in the wake of the Fed meeting last week have impacted Japanese markets, as well as the VW-induced selloff of auto market-related stocks," said Angus Nicholson, a market analyst with IG trading group.
Automakers and suppliers helped to drag Tokyo's Nikkei stock index down by almost three percent, hit by concerns about the fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal while a strong yen also weighed.
Shares in Volkswagen opened 4.6 percent higher on the Frankfurt stock exchange Thursday, a day after the German auto giant's chief executive resigned in the wake of the massive pollution scandal.
VW shares opened at 116.60 euros after already bouncing back strongly the day before as investors snapped up cheap bargains following the meltdown in the share price earlier this week as the extent of the scandal became apparent.
Chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down on Wednesday, taking responsibility for one of the biggest scandals ever in the German auto sector.