While in China, the HSBC flash Purchasing Managers' Index, the earliest indicator of the country's industrial activity, fell to 48.1 in March from February's four-month high of 49.6, with new orders sinking to a four-month low.
A general strike in Portugal and data which showed Ireland tipping back into recession also clouded the waters.
Irish gross domestic product shrank 0.2pc in the fourth quarter after a contraction of 1.1pc in the third quarter, the Central Statistics Office said in a statement, placing Ireland back into a technical recession.
"Everyone was so focused on Greece and the debt crisis is still on everyone's mind, but attention is focusing back on to fundamentals," said DZ Bank rate strategist Michael Leister.
"The PMIs alone don't make for such a big story but they fit into the bigger picture risk-off theme that we're seeing."
In Europe, Germany's DAX dropped 1.4pc, Frace's CAC lost 1.6pc and Britain's FTSE 100 slid 0.9pc.