In the currency markets, the euro lost much of its earlier gains as sentiment in the markets soured. When the appetite for risk among investors diminishes, as evident in the fall of stock markets, traders often sell the euro and buy the dollar.
By late afternoon London time, the euro was only 0.1 percent higher at $1.2969.
Earlier, Europe's single currency had pushed up as high as $1.3020 despite figures showing that unemployment in the 17-country eurozone climbed to a record 11.6 percent in September.
Oil prices were steady, with the benchmark New York rate up 59 cents at $86.27 a barrel.Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index closed 0.1 percent lower at 8,928.29 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 1 percent to 21,641.82. Mainland China's main index in Shanghai close 0.4 percent higher at 2068.88.