Major European stock indexes were set to drop at the open on Friday, financial bookmakers said, tracking hefty losses in equities worldwide after disappointing U.S. economic data revived fears of a U.S. recession.
Financial bookmakers called Britain's FTSE 100 index down 28-35 points, or as much as 0.6 percent, Germany's DAX down 31-32 points, or 0.5 percent, and France's CAC down 27 to 31 points, or 0.7 percent.
U.S. government reports showing weaker-than-expected second-quarter growth and a rise in the number of Americans applying for jobless benefits soured market sentiment and left investors uneasy about the July U.S. payrolls report due on Friday.
The sour data, plus a quarterly earnings result from Exxon Mobil that fell short of expectations, drove the Dow Jones industrial average down 1.8 percent on Thursday. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei was down about 2 percent in the afternoon session Friday.