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Europe shares close sharply lower on Greek fears

Europe shares close sharply lower on Greek fears

European equities closed sharply lower Friday following a slew of data releases and as uncertainty over Greece weighed on sentiment.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index closed around 1.8 percent lower, having extended losses throughout the session.

London's FTSE 100 index closed provisionally down 1.0 percent, with the French CAC unofficially down 2.6 percent and the German DAX down 2.3 percent.

AB Foods was the best performer on the FTSE 100, with shares closing up 2.6 percent after Goldman Sachs raised the stock's price target and rating to buy from sell.

With Friday the last trading day of May, the STOXX 600 ended the month around 1 percent higher.

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Greece continues to dominate market sentiment, with the prolonged reform-for-aid talks topping the agenda for finance chiefs of the Group of Seven (G7) meeting in Dresden, Germany.

Read MoreGreek talks 'progressing'…so where's the deal?

Greece's government intends to reach an agreement with its lenders on a cash-for-reforms deal by Sunday, its spokesman said on Thursday, Reuters reported. However, comments from those on the other side of the table suggested a deal was far from imminent.

On the data front, a slew of first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data from Europe was published Friday morning.

Greece said that its economy shrunk in the first quarter, by 0.2 percent. This confirmed a preliminary estimate earlier this month.

Denmark's economy grew by 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter, Austria expanded 0.1 percent in the same period and revised data for the Czech Republic showed the country posted 3.1 percent growth.

Meanwhile, inflation data for Spain revealed that prices fell 0.3 percent year-on-year in April.

In the U.S., a revised GDP figure on Friday afternoon showed the economy contracted 0.7 percent. This compared to an expected drop of 0.8 percent.

U.S. markets appeared to shrug of the negative revision, but traded lower nonetheless.

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