London's benchmark FTSE 100 index fell back 1.3 percent, driven by losses in the commodity sector.
Analysts say some investors have also been looking for an occasion to sell stock due to high valuations.
On Thursday, the three major USA indexes logged their worst performances since mid-May (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-set-up-for-another-day-of-losses-as-north-korean-tensions-simmer-2017-08-10) in a session dogged by geopolitical concerns.
Titled "Reckless game over the Korean Peninsula runs risk of real war", the editorial suggested China will stay neutral if North Korea strikes first, but will intervene if the U.S.is the first mover. The index had its biggest drop since mid-May a day earlier. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not believe there was an imminent threat. He added that in China, the USA and South Korea, stocks that are showing the biggest declines since the rise of tensions between the US and North Korea are the companies that have risen most since June.
All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62 per cent leading the decliners.
"If you strip away what's going on in North Korea, and if you strip away what's going on in Washington, which are things that are tougher to predict, the economy, the global recovery, earnings, it all paints a very positive picture for the rest of the year", Kravetz said.
Barrick Gold Corp rose 2.3 percent to C$21.74 as the price of gold, a safe-haven asset, reached its highest levels in two months.
"Given the great run we've had, seems like some sort of pullback wouldn't be surprising", said Michael Baele, managing director of investments at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management.
However, bank stocks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, were down about 1 per cent on the dimming prospects of another rate hike this year.
A weaker opening on Wall Street further added to the downward pressure in Europe.
Belgian drugmaker Galapagos was a rare bright spot, finishing up 4.8 per cent as brokers upgraded their view on the stock which also outperformed on Thursday after a successful drug trial.
US crude oil futures settled almost 2 percent lower at $48.59 a barrel, as Russian Federation considered a future output resumption and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries boosted its July production numbers. Brent crude, used to price global oils, declined 23 cents to $51.67 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.05 yen from 109.20 while the euro weakened to $1.1763 from $1.1773. South Korea's Kospi lost 1.7 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 2 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 per cent. Japan was closed on a public holiday.