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Dax tanks; Europe closes sharply lower

European shares closed sharply lower on Friday, as concerns over global growth and weaker economic data from Germany hit risk sentiment.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed provisionally down 1.5 percent at 1,294.54 points, having recovered some losses from earlier in the day.

All major bourses closed lower, with the German DAX tanking around 2.2 percent. The French CAC and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 also posted significant falls.

"Bad economic data is now being viewed as bad and the dovish signals from central banks are now being taken as a sign of weakness, rather than a reason to ramp up equities," analysts at Capital Spreads said in a morning note.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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"Going into the weekend with so much uncertainty in the air will only further fuel traders compulsion to get out of risky assets and it would take a miracle for the bulls to salvage anything today."

All sectors posted losses, with cyclical stocks like autos the major laggards.

The continued slide in oil prices dented sentiment ahead of third-quarter earnings season. Brent crude fell below $89 a barrel for the first time since 2010, before regaining some losses, while U.S.crude slid to its lowest since 2012.

Technip, a French engineering firm that works with energy companies, closed down just over 5 percent on Friday, taking an additional hit from a downgrade by Berenberg.

Heavyweights Shell, Total and BP all closed over 1 percent lower.

Remarks from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi on Thursday also weighed. Speaking at the Brookings Institute, he reiterated that quantitative easing would not be effective without economic reforms, and warned of deflation risks.

In the U.S., stocks also fell on Friday, extending a rout that had the S&P 500 erasing its biggest rally in a year, with computer-chip manufacturers hard hit a day after Microchip Technology lowered its sales outlook.

On the data front, August industrial production for France came in flat on the previous month, below estimates. Comparative figures for Italy showed a 0.3 percent rise, but they also missed expectations.

In the U.K., the trade balance narrowed in August to £9.1 billion ($14.6 billion).

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