Further price losses pushed the Dax well below the much-noticed 16,000 point mark on Thursday. In the first few minutes of trading, the leading German index lost 0.98 percent to 15,865.50 points.

The MDax for medium-sized companies fell by a further 0.68 percent to 26,402.16 points, and the Eurozone leading index EuroStoxx 50 fell by 1.09 percent to 4275.76 points.

The prospect of further increases in US key interest rates this year following the recent interest rate pause is currently weighing on the stock exchanges.