- German unemployment rises unexpectedly
- US GDP and jobs reports in focus
- Syria fears push airline stocks lower
- Spain's recession eases
FTSE 100: 0.50%
CAC 40: 0.07%
FTSE MIB: 0.21%
IBEX 35: -0.26%
Stoxx 600: 0.29%
European equities were mixed as a report showed German unemployment unexpectedly rose in August and as investors awaited more data in the US.
The number of people out of work in Germany increased by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 2.95m, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency revealed on Thursday.
Economists had forecast a drop by 5,000 compared to last month's decline of 7,000.
In the US, gross domestic product (GDP) figures out later are expected to be revised to show the world's biggest economy expanded more than initially reported. The report is likely to reveal a 2.2% annualised growth rate in the second quarter, instead of the 1.7% originally posted, consensus showed.
US initial jobless claims will also be released for the week ending August 24th.
Economists predict claims to come in 331,000, compared to 336,000 a week earlier.
Federal Reserve policymakers have been closely watching data for signs of whether the economy has improved enough to begin scaling back its $85bn per month in bond purchases.
The central bank is anticipated to start trimming stimulus at its next policy meeting in September.
Airline stocks fall on Syria turmoil
have come off sharply since Friday's close including International Consolidation Group, Lufthansa, Ryanair and easyJet.
The carriers stocks have been affected by considerable pressure from a rising oil price
in anticipation of Western retaliation in Syria and the potential for disruption to oil supply in the wider Middle East region, Jefferies International pointed out.
Western leaders are considering military action in Syria after the troubled country's government was accused of using chemical weapons against civilians last week in an attack that killed about 300 people.
The US government has said it was ready to intervene with reports on Wednesday saying President Obama had called on foreign leaders for support, which sent global stocks tumbling.
Spain's recession eases
Spain's recession eased in the second quarter as exports increased and domestic demand stabilised, the Madrid-based National Statistics Institute revealed.
Exports were up 6% following a 3.8% fall in the previous quarter. Household spending contracted 0.1% from the three months through March when it shrank 0.5%.
Gross domestic product declined 0.1% in the second quarter compared to a 1.6% drop last year.
Vodafone, Carrefour rally
Vodafone advanced after saying Verizon Communications is in talks to buy its stake in the Verizon Wireless venture.
Carrefour SA surged after reporting a 4.9% increase in first-half profit.
WPP edged higher after the advertising company said first-half sales increased 7.1%, driven by strong performance in the UK and North America.
Serco Group slumped after confirming that the UK Ministry of Justice has called police over the misreporting of data by "a small number of employees" associated with Serco's Prisoner Escort and Custody Services contract.
Zurich Insurance Group plunged after announcing Chairman Josef Ackermann will resign with immediate effect.
Vienna Insurance Group declined after Austria's biggest insurer reported second-quarter pre-tax profit that fell short of analysts' estimates.
Other asset classes slide
The euro/dollar dropped 0.64% to the 1.3255 dollar
Brent crude futures snapped Thursday's surge when markets retaliated on Syria fears, falling $0.552 to $115.970.