Europe markets close flat; Portugal shares rise

European shares ended the day flat on Friday, as traders shrugged off some concerns about the condition of Portugal's banking sector, which had dragged global markets lower on Thursday.

Portugal fears

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed flat at 1,349.99. Britain's FTSE 100 ended up around 0.1 percent and France's Cac 40 up 0.3 percent. Germany's Dax, however, slipped a little to close down around 0.1 percent.

Portugal's PSI ended the day around 0.67 percent higher, paring some gains, after ending Thursday around 4 percent lower. The bourse's previous slide was driven by concerns over the governance and health of one the country's leading banks.

Read MorePortugal's BES hitsback–should we blame the parent?

After several months of rumbling, Portuguese conglomerate Espírito Santo International this week delayed payments to some holders of its short-term debt securities. The delay spread fears about the stability of the bank Espirito Santo (BES) and the country's banking sector in general, with global stocks selling off on the news.

The bank rushed to quell any concerns regarding its financial stability, and Portugal's Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, said on Friday that investors should not worry about the stability of the country's financial system, according to wire reports.


By mid-afternoon. shares in BES were down around 5.5 percent after initially being suspended from trade.

Global view

U.S. stocks opened little moved on Friday, with equities on track for weekly losses, as investors weighed quarterly results from Wells Fargo and readied for of a slew earnings next week. Other big banks - like JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America - are expected to show steep earnings declines.

Meanwhile, on the data front in Europe, Germany and Spain received inflation figures for June. Spain consumer prices rose 0.1 percent against the previous month and Germany confirmed a 0.3 percent monthly rise versus May's reading.

Symrise gains

Imperial Tobacco was among Europe's biggest risers, ending the day around 3 percent higher, after confirmed it would buy assets from the group created from a merger between Reynolds American and Lorillard.

Shares of Symrise, a German-based manufacturer that makes fragrances and flavors, also closed around 3 percent higher amid reports of interest from Japanese firm Ajinomoto.

Portugal's Mota Engil lost 4 percent after it said it was holding off on the initial public offering of its African unit due to the current market turmoil.

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German airline Lufthansa also fell, to close just under 2 percent lower after UBS cut its rating to neutral from buy.

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