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European stocks mostly lower as Greece remains in focus; Dax down 0.24%

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Shutterstock photo - - European stocks were mostly lower on Friday, as growing concerns over Greece's debt troubles continued to weigh, while investors eyed upcoming data on euro zone manufacturing and service sector activity.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 0.33%, France's CAC 40 edged down 0.27%, while Germany's DAX 30 slipped 0.24%.

Markets were jittery after Germany rejected a proposed bailout extension request from Greece on Thursday.

The Greek request included a pledge to maintain "fiscal balance" for a six-month period, in order to give it time to reach a new agreement on growth over the next four years with its partners in the euro zone, Reuters reported.

But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said it was "not a substantial proposal for a solution" and did not meet the criteria agreed on at the euro group meeting of euro zone finance ministers on Monday.

Another round of negotiations was planned at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers on Friday.

Financial stocks were mixed, asBNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) slid 0.33% andSociete Generale (PARIS:SOGN) edged up 0.12% in France, while Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) rose 0.38% andDeutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) slipped 0.16% in Germany.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Unicredit (MILAN:CRDI) andIntesa Sanpaolo (MILAN:ISP) declined 0.39% and 0.87% respectively, while Spanish banksBanco Santander (MADRID:SAN) and BBVA (MADRID:BBVA) fell 0.23% and 0.46%.

Elsewhere,Danone SA (PARIS:DANO) plummeted 1.94% after the world's biggest yogurt maker set a lower sales forecast for 2015 than the previous year's.

In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 inched up 0.03%.

Mining stocks were steady to lower. Shares inRio Tinto (LONDON:RIO) andBhp Billiton (LONDON:BLT) inched down 0.05% and 0.06% respectively, whileFresnillo (LONDON:FRES) slipped 0.24% andRandgold Resources (LONDON:RRS) dropped 0.86%.

Energy stocks were broadly higher on the other hand, as oil and gas giantBP Plc (LONDON:BP) climbed 0.61% andTullow Oil Plc (LONDON:TLW) rallied 2.35%, while Petrofac (LONDON:PFC) saw shares surge 3.02%, leading gains on the index.

In the financial sector, stocks were steady to higher. Shares inBarclays (LONDON:BARC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) inched up 0.03% and 0.05%, while Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) rose 0.23% andHSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) gained 0.42%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a steady to lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.08% loss, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.11% fall, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.03% dip.

Earlier Friday, research group Markit said France's preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index slipped to 47.7 this month from 49.2 in January. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 49.5 in February.

France's preliminary services PMI rose to 53.4 in February from 49.4 last month, exceeding expectations for an increase to 49.8.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity. 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.

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