Europe close: Stocks end near session-lows save on the Dax
(ShareCast News) - Markets in Europe finished near their session lows - with the notable exception of German stocks - with traders still in a defensive crouch going into the weekend.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished down by 1.07% for the day and by 2.8% for the week with some of the biggest losses coming from the banking (-1.69%), basic resources (-2,66%) and technology sectors (-1.09%).
Germany's DAX was flat at 12,014.06, but France's CAC 40 shed 1.08% to end at 5,059.82 and Spain's IBEX 35 was 1.60% softer at 10,282.90.
In London, the FTSE 100 was last down 1.08% at 7,309.96.
Helping to limit losses for the time being was a possible indication that China might not back-up its errant neighbour if it carried out a missile strike that could threaten US territory.
According to the English-language Global Times, which was founded by the Communist Party's People's Daily, China should "make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral."
Yet investor worries of a possible miscalculation on the part of either side leading to something more physical continued to feed into heightened volatility, albeit far less than during the previous session, with the VStoxx index for the Euro Stoxx 50 ending the day 2.31% higher to 19.35.
Oil prices turned around late in the day, with Brent crude nudging higher 0.04% to $51.92 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate ahead by 0.12% at $48.65.
Earlier, the International Energy Agency bumped up its forecast for the average rate of global oil demand growth in 2017 from 1.4m barrels a day to 1.5m b/d.
On the corporate front, German energy giant Innogy was down 1.58% after it said its customer numbers were growing on Friday, although trading conditions reportedly remained tough.
Telecom Italia was 1.41% softer after being given extra time by authorities in Italy to turn in the paperwork detailing the role its biggest shareholder Vivendi was playing.
Volkswagen ticked higher by 0.71% after it had reportedly ended talks on an emerging markets merger with India's Tata Motors.
Financial services firm Old Mutual was down 3.08% after confirming details of its plans to list two divisions next year.
Novozymes added 1.16% after it saw lower-than-expected growth in the second quarter, it said on Friday, leading it to slash its outlook.
Britain-based retailer Dixons Carphone was sitting at the bottom of the pile, sliding 7.15% after a downgrade from BNP Paribas.