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Europe shares close lower after Bullard comments

European shares closed lower on Friday, after St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the U.S. central bank could taper its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program in October.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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The FTSEurofirst 300 Index closed provisionally 0.2 percent lower at 1,263.0, with European shares pushed down by investors taking profit, although they continued to hover around five-year highs. The U.K. FTSE closed down 0.4 percent, the German Dax closed down 0.2 percent and the French Cac closed up 0.1 percent.

Bullard emphasized in an interview with Bloomberg the role that economic data has played, and will continue to play in Fed decisions

"This was a close decision here in September," he told the network.

Europe stocks started the day in negative territory, bringing an end to the broad rally which started after the Federal Reserve surprised markets by opting to maintain its $85 billion-per-month asset purchases. However, Bullard's comments on Friday backed up the belief that the Fed still plans to taper soon.

In Europe, German voters are preparing to go the polls in Sunday's general elections. The current chancellor, Angela Merkel, is expected to win a third term in office, but the future composition of the governing coalition remains unclear. It is possible that Merkel might have to form an alliance with the rival Social Democrats party (SPD).

In Asia, Indian equities led the region lower on the final trading day of the week, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) unexpectedly raised interest rates. India's Sensex index closed down 1.8 percent, Japan's Nikkei index ended just below the flatline and Australia's S&P ASX 200 fell off the previous day's five-year high.

(Read More: India unexpectedly hikes rates, shares tumble)

Elsewhere, die-hard Apple fans in Asia and Europe lined up outside stores for the launch of the tech firm's latest handsets. At the biggest Apple store in Asia, in Beijing, several security guards kept the line in order to avoid a repeat of the egg-throwing that marred a previous launch. Demand for the iPhone 5S in gold was keen, with the 5C seeing little interest. Shares of Apple climbed during the day.

(Read More: Panned new iPhones still draw die-hards at launch)

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