Global investors awaited the release of the minutes from the Fed's meeting in July, which may give clues as to when it will next raise interest rates. U.S. markets declined ahead of the release.
Elsewhere, investors eyed U.K. employment data that showed the country's jobless rate held steady at 4.9 percent in the three months to June. The July count for unemployment benefits fell, which surprised analysts who had expected a rise following the Brexit vote.
Sterling was slightly down against the U.S. dollar, trading at $1.300 when European stock markets closed.
Meanwhile, oil prices fell on Wednesday, as traders mulled mixed signs regarding the prospect of OPEC and non-OPEC oil-producing countries reining in crude production. Brent and U.S. WTI crude futures were trading at around $49.15 and $46.20 when European stock markets closed.