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Europe ends lower; earnings, commodities weigh

European stocks finished off the day and week in the red, following a volatile five days of mixed earnings and a sell-off in commodities.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 closed down around 0.9 percent on the day, despite trading in the green during morning trade on Friday, as investors digested a number of corporate earnings releases.

On the week, it finished trading even lower, by around 2.9 percent.

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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All major bourses changed direction during session, finishing lower. Germany's DAX tumbled, ending down 1.4 percent, while the French CAC was 0.6 percent lower. London's FTSE 100 closed the session down 1.1 percent.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. stocks traded lower after briefly attempting gains on Friday, despite surprisingly strong Amazon.com earnings.

As in Europe, signs of slower global growth weighed on sentiment on Wall Street.

Miners in focus

Mining stocks were in focus, particularly Lonmin and Anglo American, against a backdrop of an ongoing rout in metal prices.

Shares in Lonmin tanked to a record low, closing down by more than 17 percent. This came after the platinum producer said it was looking to close some mine shafts, in a restructuring drive that could put 6,000 jobs at risk. The company cited plunging platinum prices due to an oversupplied market.

Shares of Anglo American closed down around 3.5 percent after it reported a 36 percent drop in first-half underlying earnings. The miner also said it was slashing 6,000 "overhead and other indirect" jobs.

Also on Friday, copper prices fell to their lowest levels since 2009, after a widely followed index of Chinese economic activity came in at a 15-month low for July.

Gold also slumped during trade, falling over 1 percent to its lowest since early 2010 on Friday. However, it pared some losses by the close of European trade.

Read MoreGold could plunge to $1,000 quicker than you think

In other earnings news, Thales shares surged to the top of the Stoxx 600, finishing up 7.5 percent, after the company reported first half profits that beat market expectations.

Vodafone, one of the world's biggest telecoms companies, announced better-than-expected sales Friday as its 4G plans grow. This sent shares in the company almost 4 percent higher after the open. Paring gains, the firm closed around 2.8 percent higher.

However, Aggreko shares tanked over 12 percent after the power company said warned that its full-year results could fall short of market expectations.