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Europe closes largely lower; travel stocks fall after Nice attack

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European stocks closed largely lower on Friday, following a terror attack in France that killed at least 84 people.

The pan-European STOXX 600 came off session lows but remained negative on the day, closing down by 0.25 percent. It was up 3.2 percent on the week however.

The French CAC index underperformed peers, closing provisionally 0.4 percent lower. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 ended provisionally 0.2 percent higher and the German DAX was off 0.1 percent.

Europe indexes

European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX

Late on Thursday, a man driving a large truck at high speed mowed down a crowd in Nice, France, during Bastille Day celebrations. The attacker was killed. French President Francois Hollande extended the state of emergency in France for another three months and said the said the attack was of a "terrorist nature. "

The news weighed on already-fragile European investor sentiment, which was starting to recover after the installment of a new prime minister in the U.K.

Travel and leisure stocks turned lower on news of the attack. French hotel group Accor closed around 3 percent lower and Air France-KLM was off 1.6 percent. Other airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and also closed lower.


Swatch tanks

Swatch Group warned on Friday that first-half profit would fall 50 to 60 percent and said the attack in Nice would put addition pressure on sales in the near future. Shares of the Swiss luxury watch maker fell by up to 12 percent before paring some losses, closing 7.8 percent lower.

Swatch's report dragged down shares of rival Swiss watchmaker Richemont, which closed over 3 percent lower.

U.S. stocks struggled for gains on Friday, despite a continued stream of strong bank earnings. Citigroup report results that easily beat analysts' expectations, Wells Fargo's were in line with forecasts.

Overnight, China's posted faster-than-expected economic growth in the second quarter of 6.7 percent. Asia markets subsequently closed mixed on Friday.

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