Europe Markets

Europe ends lower as China stocks tumble, ECB eyed


European equities ended lower on Friday, after sharp falls in China's stock markets weighed on sentiment, but losses were muted as the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy meeting next week remained in focus.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 index closed around 0.2 percent lower, ahead of the central bank's monthly meeting and press conference next Thursday, when ECB President Mario Draghi is expected to announce further monetary stimulus measure and possibly cut the bank deposit rate further.

On the week, the index around 0.5 percent higher.

In Shanghai, stocks closed as much as 6 percent lower on the back of bad industrial profits data in China and news that the country's securities regulator was looking to clamp down on how brokerages finance their clients' stock purchases.

French and German stocks, along with London's FTSE 100 all finished around 0.3 percent lower, with expectations of more quantitative easing from the ECB next week helping to minimize losses.

The Shanghai Composite finished the session down 5.48 percent, marking its sharpest one-day percentage drop since August 25, according to Reuters data. The mainland Shenzen Composite clocked similar losses, closing lower by 6 percent.

An investor observes stock market at a stock exchagne hall on September 22, 2015 in Nanjing, China.
China's Black Friday sees it revisit August lows

The setback in China stocks mostly weighed on Europe's mining sector, with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Glencore, Fresnillo and Anglo American among the worst performers on London's FTSE index.

Shares in Anglo American fell to the bottom spot in the STOXX, ending down over 8 percent, punctured by news that it would also be closing its Drayton coal mine in Australia.

U.S. stocks struggled to hold higher during the shortened Friday trading session, weighed by a decline in shares of Disney and lower oil prices, as investors eyed preliminary Black Friday shopping results.

U.S. retail giant Target said Black Friday weekend shopping got off to a good start with "unprecedented" results on its website and "a strong turnout" at stores Thanksgiving Day.

Russia-Turkey tensions continue

In other news, tensions remained high between Russia and Turkey following the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey on Tuesday. Turkey claims the jet was in its airspace, an allegation Russia denies.

Hopes were raised on Friday that tensions between the two countries could be ratcheted down after news emerged from the Kremlin that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had asked to meet with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

However, any expectations were soon lowered by a new round of tit-for-tat accusations and warnings.

There were no major earnings or data releases in Europe Friday.