European markets open lower

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European stocks opened sharply lower on Friday, as market sentiment weakened following news of a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, while political turmoil in the USA also continued to rattle investors' confidence.

The terrorist attack took place in Barcelona late on Thursday afternoon, when a van drove through a crowd in a busy tourist area causing the deaths of 13 people.

Ongoing political worries in the United States also kept markets under pressure after reports emerged that Gary Cohn, a key force behind Trump's tax reform program, is considering resigning as President Trump's top economic advisor. However, the White House knocked down these rumors. The German DAX shed half a percent, while France's CAC 40 and the UK's FTSE 100 both slid around 0.6%.

Banks were broadly lower, with Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas and Barclays falling 1-2%.

Among peripheral lenders, Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo (MI:ISP) and Unicredit (MI:CRDI) declined 0.88% and 1.36% respectively, while Spanish banks BBVA (MC:BBVA) and Banco Santander (MC:SAN) plummeted 1.52% and 1.87%.

"If the lesson from previous terror attacks is anything to go by, whilst airlines and maybe some luxury goods stocks can expect to see earnings hit, the broader market is capable of rebounding reasonably quickly".

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Krzanich also said he had urged other leaders to condemn the white supremacists who took part in the Virginia rally . Plank said on Twitter that he was resigning "to focus on inspiring and uniting through power of sport".

British Airways owner International Consolidation Airlines Group (IAG) was one of the worst performing FTSE 100 stocks, down 2% or 13p at 611p in morning trading, while travel agency TUI dropped 0.5% to 1,327p.

Deutsche Lufthansa, which is in talks to buy a majority of insolvent airline Air Berlin's assets, fell 1.5%.

Gold miner Randgold Resources rallied 1.5% as gold prices held mostly steady on safe-haven buying.

The day's economic calendar remains light, with German producer price data, euro area current account figures for June and a report on U.S. consumer sentiment slated for release later in the day.

Construction output declined 0.5% month-on-month in June, bigger than the 0.2% decrease seen in May.

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