Fed confusion and the 'Game of Thrones' in the White House dragged markets lower.
Markets in Europe closed lower on Thursday as uncertainty surrounding internal U.S. policy continued to weigh on investor sentiment despite lessening tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
The European Central Bank expressed caution about removing monetary stimulus too soon following a recent bounce in the euro, the record of its last meeting showed - hitting the single currency along with the region's equity markets. As money market futures cut their expectations of a U.S. rate hike by December to 40 percent from just under 50 percent before the Fed's minutes, futures for the blue-chip S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent in pre-market trade. U.S. President Donald Trump's decision on Wednesday to disband two business councils after a number of its members quit in protest over his comments about white nationalists also continued to weigh on stock valuations.