Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX fell 135.24 points, or 2.32%, to 5,695.33, after a drop on Wall Street.
European stocks ended mostly lower. London's Financial Times Stock exchange index added 11.90 points, or 0.32%, to 3,742.40. Germany's DAX index shed 24.21 points, or 0.92%, to 2,597.88, amid news that Chancellor Schroder appointed a new labor and economics minister. France's CAC index fell 37.78 points, or 1.40%, to 2,656.45.
Asian stocks finished down Wednesday. Tokyo stocks Wednesday lost 169.56 points, or 1.95%, to 8,539.34, which is a 19-year low. Mizuho Holdings led the decline as the impacts of bad bank loans in Japan continued to weigh. Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index finished off just slightly, down 0.06 point, to 8,977.35.