European stocks decline with Iraq in focus; Dax down 0.50%

Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were lower on Friday, as concerns over escalating violence in Iraq weighed on global equities.

During European morning trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 shed 0.37%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.36%, while Germany's DAX slid 0.50%.

U.S. president Barack Obama warned of possible military strikes in Iraq after a rebellion led by a Sunni Islamist group continued to spread rapidly through the country. Late on Thursday, Kurdish forces in the north took control of Kirkuk to protect it from the Islamists.

In response, the Iraqi government launched air strikes on insurgents in Mosul, which the militants took control of earlier this week.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders Societe Generale (PARIS:SOGN) and BNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) retreated 0.76% and 0.19%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) slipped 0.09%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) and Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) fell 0.04% and 0.36% respectively, while Spanish bank Banco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) edged down 0.06% and 0.32%.

Elsewhere, oil companies were trending broadly higher, supported by the rise in oil prices as violence in Iraq sparked concers over possible supply disruptions in the region.

French company Total (PARIS:TOTF) saw shares jump 0.99%, while Italy's ENI (MILAN:ENI) gained 0.57%.

In London, FTSE 100 slid 0.40%, led by Barratt Developments (LONDON:BDEV), down 3.29%, even as the property development companie's stock had its "buy" rating restated by Deutsche Bank.

Rival property companies Land Securities (LONDON:LAND) and British Land (LONDON:BLND) weren't very far behind, with shares plummeting 2.93% and 2.79% respectively.

Financial stocks were also mostly lower, as Barclays (LONDON:BARC) dipped 0.03% and HSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) dropped 0.40%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) tumbled 1.21%. The Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) overperformed however, rising 0.65%.

Meanwhile, Tullow Oil (LONDON:TLW) led gains on the index, rallying 1.34%, while rival oil and gas giant BP (LONDON:BP) advanced 0.95%.

Mining stocks were mixed, with Rio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) shedding 0.38% and Glencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) retreating 0.65%, while Polymetal (LONDON:POLYP) and Fresnillo (LONDON:FRES) gained 0.56% and 1.22% respectively.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady open. The Dow 30futures pointed to a 0.02% uptick, S&P 500futures signaled a 0.03% gain, while the Nasdaq 100futures indicated a 0.09% rise.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on producer price inflation and preliminary data on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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