European Shares Set to Track Asia, US Losses

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.