European stocks slide ahead of confidence data

By Sara Sjolin

LONDON (MarketWatch) — European stock markets moved lower on Friday, with oil firms leading the way south, ahead of the latest reading of consumer confidence in the euro zone, due in the afternoon. The Stoxx Europe 600 index XX:SXXP +0.01% lost 0.4% to 302.45, after posting the biggest gain in three weeks on Thursday. Oil firms added pressure on the index, tracking oil prices lower. Shares of Total SA FR:FP +0.85% TOT +1.11% dropped 1.1% in Paris and BP PLC UK:BP +0.31% BP +0.27% shaved off 0.5% in London. On a more upbeat note, shares of FLSmidth & Co. AS DK:FLS +6.92% climbed 4% after the engineering firm reported second-quarter earnings. Among country-specific indexes, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index UK:UKX +0.27% dropped 0.4% to 6,423.61, while France’s CAC 40 index FR:PX1 -0.37% lost 0.8% to 4,028.82. Germany’s DAX 30 index DX:DAX -0.01% fell 0.3% to 8,370.77.

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