Europe Markets

European stocks inch lower as oil worries persist; euro zone PMI growth slows; Domino's dips 2.5%

European stocks closed lower on Friday as investors monitored oil prices and business activity in Germany dipped to a four-year low.

European markets

The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.23 percent with most sectors and major bourses in negative territory. For the week, bourses were little changed.

Europe's food and beverages sector was among the worst performers on Friday, down about 0.7 percent. Britain's pizza delivery business Domino's slipped towards the bottom of the benchmark after Berenberg bank lowered its outlook for the stock to "hold" from "buy". Its shares fell more than 2 percent on the news.

Dutch insurer NN Group has been asked to compensate one of its customers after allegedly failing to adequately inform them about important aspects of an investment insurance product that was widely sold in the 1990s and 2000s, Reuters reported. The group's shares slumped more than 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, ITV, was among the best-performing stocks on Friday after Morgan Stanley raised its stock recommendation to "overweight". Its shares rose more than 3 percent.

On Wall Street, equities fluctuated between gains and losses on Friday as energy stocks tried to stem this week's sell-off.

Oil prices watched

Oil continued to be at the forefront of investors' minds on Friday, as prices showed signs of a recovery following a sharp decline earlier this week.

Prices inched higher on Friday with U.S. crude hovering near $43.15 a barrel at 16.30 p.m. London time, while Brent sat at around $45.65. However, glut concerns continue to persist.

Looking to data, France and Germany both released flash PMI figures for June on Friday morning. Germany's manufacturing and services sector - which accounts for over two-thirds of its economy - dipped to a four-month low in June. Markit's flash composite PMI fell to 56.1 from 57.4 in May.

Business activity in France also eased more than predicted in June as growth weakened in the country's services sector. Data compiler, IHS Markit, found France's PMI fell to 55.3, down from 56.9 in May.

Euro zone PMI growth unexpectedly slowed to 55.7 in June, down from 56.8 in May. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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