- German trade surplus narrows
- China trade surplus grows
- UK trade deficit expands
- US military air strike in Iraq
- Russian counter-sanctions to hurt EU
FTSE 100: -0.45%
CAC 40: -0.05%
FTSE MIB: 0.33%
IBEX 35: 0.26%
European stocks were mixed as investors weighed trade data in Germany, China and the UK and geopolitical tensions.
Germany's trade surplus narrowed to €16.2bn in June from €17.8bn a month earlier, as imports jumped 4.5% to offset a 0.9% increase in exports. Analysts had expected the surplus to grow to €18.9bn.
The data comes a day after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi warned the euro-area's recovery remained fragile and uneven as the monetary authority kept policy unchanged.
In China the trade surplus rose to $47.30bn in July from $31.56bn in June, surprising analysts who had expected a $24bn surplus. It was supported by a 14.6% surge in exports, compared to a 1.6% fall in imports.
The UK trade deficit grew in June by £2,459 from £2,364 a month earlier, missing the estimate for it to narrow to £2,050.
The US on Friday started an operation to drop relief supplies to Yazidi refugees in northern Iraq and launched an air strike against militants from the Islamic State (IS) group in the middle-eastern country, the Pentagon said.
American aircraft targeted artillery that was being used to attack Kurdish forces currently defending the city of Irbil.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama gave the green light to air strikes, claiming the US government was determined to avoid "a potential act of genocide" in the previously stable region of Northern Iraq.
In other geopolitical movements, European Union ambassador to Russia, Vygaudas Usackas, said Moscow's ban on agricultural food imports could cost the EU $16bn (£9.5bn) and plunge the region into a crisis.
On Thursday the Russian government signed a decree banning the import of beef, pork, poultry, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, cheese, milk and dairy products from the EU, Australia, Canada, Norway and the US.
Tod's sank after the luxury-good maker's first-half sales and profit missed estimates.
Allianz SE gained after Europe's biggest insurer reported a rise in second-quarter income that beat forecasts.
Afren slid after the oil explorer said it is temporarily suspending operations at its Barda Rash field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and is withdrawing personnel due to security concerns.
Nokian Renkaat Oyj edged lower after the Finnish tiremaker reported a fall in Russian revenue and posted quarterly profit that fell short of market expectations.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena slumped after the Italian lender increased its provisions for bad loans and reported a wider-than-forecast second-quarter loss.
The euro rose 0.37% to $1.3413.
Brent crude futures fell 0.57% to $104.87 per barrel, according to the ICE.