Europe's major stock markets dived by more than 1.5% at the open on Tuesday, joining a global selloff on heightened inflation fears.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top blue-chip companies sank 1.8% to 6 999.21 points compared with Monday's closing level.
In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 dropped 1.5% to 6 287.47 and Frankfurt's DAX 30 lost 1.6% to 15 150.34 points.
Asian equities also tumbled, following steep losses on Wall Street, as investors grew increasingly worried about a surge in inflation that could force central banks to wind back their ultra-loose monetary policies earlier than forecast.
"Inflation is what keeps investors up at night," said Swissquote analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya.