(MENAFN - AFP) European stock markets fell on Tuesday, mirroring losses in Asia and overnight on Wall Street, as investors factored in possible US military intervention in Syria.
In late morning deals, London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares dropped 0.82 percent to stand at 6,438.72 points, as dealers in London returned to their desks after a three-day holiday weekend.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 sank 1.50 percent to 8,308.84 points and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.47 percent to 4,007.36 compared with Monday's closing values.
The European single currency eased to 1.3340, from 1.3369 late in New York on Monday.
Global oil prices advanced over fears of renewed instability in the crude-rich Middle East region, with New York futures climbing above 111 a barrel.
Wall Street stocks had fallen on Monday after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that the United States would demand "accountability" after an "obscene" chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians.
The sell-off came immediately after Kerry said the US was still examining evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria but left no doubt that Bashar al-Assad's regime would be blamed.
"The apparent certainty that military action against Syria is on its way has traders highly uncertain about what the repercussions will be for igniting a powder keg in such an already volatile region," said dealer Jonathan Sudaria at traders Capital Spreads.
"Naturally, traders will be shying away from risky assets until there is some clarity about the future path of military intervention from the West."
New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.43 percent to finish at 14,946.46 points.
"US markets sank yesterday... after US Secretary State John Kerry said the president will hold Syria's government accountable for using chemical weapons," said Spreadex analyst Lee Mumford.
"Investors dumped shares, sending the markets lower on light volume on concerns the US was inching towards possible military action against Syria.
"The negativity will continue into the UK markets as the FTSE plays catch-up and a negative Asian session overnight."
Sentiment was hurt also by official US data which showed that new orders for durable manufactured goods plunged 7.3 percent in July.
That was much worse than market expectations for a 5.0-percent drop.
In Asia on Tuesday, Hong Kong equities slid 0.59 percent and Tokyo shed 0.69 percent, but Sydney eked out a slender gain of 0.11 percent.
Emerging markets also remained under the spotlight due to lingering concern that tighter US monetary policy could spark massive outflows of foreign cash back to the West.
The Turkish lira fell to a record low level early on Tuesday, plunged to 2.033 in mid-morning.
Turkey is caught up in a currency turmoil that is also spreading across emerging economies in Asia, Latin America, Russia and South Africa as investors pull out some funds because of the imminent change in the US monetary climate as well as in global interest rates.