The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.4% in early trading, following losses in Asian markets and Wall Street.
Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million, according to a Reuters rally, and Europe – the worst-affected region in the world – is currently reporting a million new infections about every four days.
Precious metal miner Fresnillo Plc slid 3.1% after it forecast lower gold output for the current year.
Hygiene products maker Essity slipped 0.6% despite reporting a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly operating profit.
French luxury group LVMH rose 1.4% as booming sales at fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, particularly in China, helped to cushion the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gucci-owner Kering gained 1%.