Europe Closes Down After US GDP Miss

European shares closed lower after U.S. growth figures missed expectations pointing to a potential slowdown in the world's biggest economy. Annualized gross domestic product came in at 2.5 percent for the the first quarter, down on forecasts of 3 percent.

(Read More: Oops! Economic Growth Wasn't So Great After All)


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index ended provisionally 0.4 percent down on Friday at 1,195.40 points. However, gains in previous sessions mean the index closed 3.7 percent up on the week, marking its best week in five months. Sentiment remains lifted on hopes that the European Central Bank will cut interest rates or announce further stimulus measures after its meeting next Thursday.

(Read More: ECB Should Weaken the Euro: Bini Smaghi)

Meanwhile, on Friday, Spain cut its growth forecasts for the year from -0.5 percent to -1.3 percent. The government also revised down its budget deficit forecasts to 6.3 percent of gross domestic product in 2013.

The Spanish IBEX traded lower on the news and closed unofficially down 0.81 percent.

(Read More: Spain 'Throws in the Towel' on Austerity)

In stock news, the chemical sector outperformed after Germany's BASF forecast profit gains across all units this year. The German firm closed provisionally 3.70 percent higher.

However, European first quarter earnings reports were largely downbeat on Friday. Among major companies, Total, Alcatel Lucent, and BBVA all reported worse-than-expected numbers, and closed more than 1 percent down on the day.

Their losses were dwarfed however by those of French fashion firm PPR, which closed down 6.8 percent in heavy volume after missing sales forecasts.