The pan-European Stoxx 600 was down 0.4 percent in early deals with banks and basic resources showing 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 sank 5 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 0.6 percent at the open.
In Asia, equities traded lower — bar Chinese stocks — following a mixed session on Wall Street. 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.
In terms of data, the International Energy Agency’s monthly oil market report is due at 4 a.m. Friday, and the U.K. is releasing GDP, trade balance and construction output data at 4:30 a.m. ET.