The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down by nearly 1 percent in mid-morning deals with banks and basic resources showing some of the steepest falls. This came as the euro dropped sharply against the dollar, following reports that the European Central Bank (ECB) is concerned over the impact of a weak Turkish lira on European banks.
The Financial Times said that Spain’s BBVA, Italy’s UniCredit, and France’s BNP Paribas could be particularly impacted by the ongoing depreciation of the lira.
On the earnings front, Novozymes shares were down about 2 percent after the biotech firm missed expectations with its second-quarter results. Meanwhile, budget carrier Ryanair is facing flight cancellations across Europe as pilots walk out on strike in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. Shares were down 2 percent.
Elsewhere, Sports Direct has bought all the U.K. stores, stock and brand of House of Fraser. The deal cost $115 million. Shares of Sports Direct fell slightly on the news.
Traders have remained on edge after China matched the most recent round of U.S. tariffs with 25 percent levies of its own, targeting $16 billion worth of American goods. Meanwhile, Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed better-than-expected growth in the second quarter, aided by strong household and business spending.
In the latest Brexit news, a majority of the British public supports a second referendum on the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union, according to a YouGov survey released Friday. Meanwhile, U.K. employers’ group the Confederation of British Industry said on Friday that it backs an immigration system that is “open and controlled,” adding that the U.K. should ditch controversial net migration targets.
Gross domestic product (GDP) figures out Friday morning showed the U.K. economy growing 0.4 percent in the second-quarter of the year.
In other data, the International Energy Agency’s monthly oil market report said Friday that a U.S. plan to impose targeted crude sanctions against Iran could significantly impact global supply and exhaust the world’s spare oil capacity cushion.