European stock markets closed lower on Friday. London's FTSE 100 index was off 17.30 points, or 0.39%, to 4,407.40 following a HBOS report that housing prices rose more than 21% over past 3 months, which the slowest pace since last November. Morrison was lower after a company issued a shock profit warning. Sainsbury was lower after issuing a warning yesterday. Legal & General higher as UK new business rose 20% in the second quarter. Barclays was higher after Morgan Stanley recommended the stock.
Germany's DAX index eased 36.25 points, or 0.90%, to 3,998.77 following a report that Eurozone May producer price index rose more than expected 0.6% in May after rising 0.4% in April. Traders were a bit unnerved by Tokyo slide overnight. Volkswagen was down after reporting lower June auto sales. RWE was higher after completing sale of a 20% stake in Swiss power group Motor Colombus to UBS. Commerzbank was lower after CEO announces his group is examining a complete takeover of BHF-Bank.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 31.14 points, or 0.84%, to 3,685.06 as some were disturbed by the Eurozone PPI release and GM reported lower June sales. Carrefour and Casino were lower. Alstom was up a bit. AFP reports the EC could approve Alstom's rescue plan proposed by the French government. Rhodia was higher after appointing Bruno Mouclier as the group's new CFO.
Asian markets finished lower on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei index lost 174.52 points, or 1.47%, to close at 11,721.49.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index eased 65.62 points, or 0.53%, or 12,220.13.