European stocks closed lower on Friday as geopolitical tensions spiked after U.S. airstrikes in Iraq killed a top Iranian military commander.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed provisionally down 0.4%. Travel and autos stocks led the losses while oil and gas shares rose over 1% on the back of renewed unrest in the Middle East.
Iranian Major-General Qasem Soleimani, head of Tehran's elite Quds Force, was killed early on Friday by a U.S. airstrike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
Iran's Foreign Minister has tweeted that the U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its "rogue adventurism," while Fars News Agency reported a spokesman as saying that Iran's top security body will meet to discuss Tehran's response.
Equities stateside also sank on the back of geopolitical worries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined over 200 points while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes were both down about 0.6%.
Shares of Swedish Match rose over 3% to lead the Stoxx 600 in afternoon trade as tobacco stocks were boosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final vapor guidance.