The leading German index Dax has leveled off at around 13,000 in the past few days.
Now the resistance to the downside seems to have been broken.
While the Dax closed just above the mark on Wednesday, which was already a loss, it fell well below it on Thursday morning after opening.
At 12,701 points, it was 2.3 percent lower in early trading.
In terms of charts, things are not looking good after falling below the psychologically important 13,000 mark, said Jochen Stanzl, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, of the Reuters news agency.
"The fundamental bottom in the Dax threatens to break away given the fear of a wave of profit warnings."
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As the only winner in the Dax, Siemens Healthineers was up 1.2 percent in the morning.
Among the remaining 39 stocks in the index, it was all about who could show the smallest losses.
The pharmaceutical company Sartorius led the field with around minus 0.1 percent.
The software manufacturer SAP was the biggest loser.
The shares moved down 5.7 percent to their corona low of March 2020 at a good 82 euros.
A downgrade by French investment bank Exane BNP Paribas had a negative impact.
The mid-market stocks weren't doing any better either.
The M-Dax lost 2.2 percent to 25,801 points.
The energy supplier Uniper lost almost a quarter of its stock market value, but limited losses to 13.9 percent in the course of trading.
The reason for the price slide was a request for state aid.
Increased gas prices and the reduced delivery volumes from Russia as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine are currently causing serious problems for gas storage operators.
The broader FAZ index lost 2.1 percent to 2085 points in the morning.
The Eurozone index Euro Stoxx 50 lost to a similar extent as its German relatives.
With 3449 points, it was 1.9 percent below the end of the previous day.
In Switzerland, the leading index SMI fell 1.3 percent and was at 10,670 points in the morning.
The Swiss franc appreciated strongly against the euro in the past week and even traded above parity on Thursday.
One euro cost 0.9974 francs.
On the one hand, the appreciation of the franc is due to the recent interest rate hike by the Swiss central bank (SNB).
In addition, the SNB had scaled back its foreign exchange market interventions to weaken the Swiss franc in recent months.
In Asia, markets had provided mixed guidance on Thursday.
While China's trading center was bolstered by its tourism and aviation industries, Japan and Australia declined.
In Shanghai and Shenzhen, the CSI 300 index climbed 1.47 percent to 4,487 points.
The index thus compensated for the losses of the previous day.
Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.97 percent to 21,782.44 points.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 fell sharply after weak industrial production data.
The leading Japanese index fell by 1.54 percent to 26,393 points after having given way the previous day.
The indicators for the leading American indices gave reason to expect a lower opening on Wall Street in the morning.
Investors expected a drop of around 1 percent.
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin expanded its losses in recent weeks.
The digital currency was 3.9 percent lower at $ 19,303.
With the conclusion of the second quarter, Bitcoin could post its worst result since the third quarter of 2011, according to financial news agency Bloomberg.
Bitcoin lost 58 percent of its value in the past three months.Keywords: