Europe ends the week 3.4% lower as oil tumbles

European markets finished deep into negative territory on Friday, as oil prices slumped below $30 per barrel, Chinese markets sold off and mining stocks sharply declined.


European stock indexes ended sharply in the red, with the pan-European STOXX 600 down around 2.8 percent on the day. For the week, it finished 3.4 percent lower provisionally.

London's FTSE slipped 1.9 percent, with the French CAC and Germany's DAX closing down even more to 2.4 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.

Portuguese stocks under-performed, with the benchmark index off 3.8 percent. The Russian MICEX closed down 4.3 percent.

Oil slumps below $30

Brent crude and U.S. crude oil futures fell sharply on Friday, with both trading over 4,5 percent lower, at $29.51 and $29.65 respectively. The market is readying for increased Iranian oil exports, with signs that the international embargo on the country may be lifted soon.

Oil stocks plummeted, with Seadrill off nearly 8 percent, and Tullow Oil, Shell and Subsea 7 all off 4 percent or more.

In Asian markets, early gains from the rally in U.S. markets on Thursday were erased, with China's Shanghai composite closing 3.5 percent lower and Shenzhen composite down 3.4 percent.

U.S. markets traded sharply lower on Friday, following a slew of disappointing U.S. data, adding further pressure onto Europe markets.

BHP Billiton $7.2B charge

In business news, global miner BHP Billiton expects to take a $7.2 billion pre-tax impairment charge against the value of its U.S. shale assets, amid the slump in oil and gas prices, sending shares over 6 percent lower.

This dragged down the sector overall, over 5 percent lower, with Anglo American tanking over 11 percent. Antofagasta, Glencore and ArcelorMittal were all off 6 percent or more.

Fiat, Renault slip

In the auto space, Italy's Fiat Chrysler has denied allegations by two Chicago-area dealerships which filed a lawsuit accusing the company of inflating sales. Fiat Chrysler shares extended losses, closing 2.8 percent down.

Meanwhile Renault said there was no evidence of defeat devices found in its offices that were raided by fraud investigators, sending shares up in early trade. However, the stock reversed gains to slip sharply lower, off 3.4 percent.

In other auto news, European car sales rose 9.2 percent in 2015 to 14.2 million, with Daimler European registrations up 17.7 percent. Shares in the German carmaker however remained off 1.9 percent.

French supermarket chain Carrefour reported full-year 2015 sales were up 3 percent on an organic basis from the year before. Shares however closed down 1.4 percent.

France's Casino Group was Europe's top performer, ending up 4.8 percent after it said it would sell its majority stake in Thai hypermarket operator Big C Supercenter.

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