PARIS (Alliance News) - The European markets are trading below the flat line on Friday, as geo-political tensions led to risk aversion, following the shooting down of the Malaysian flight over Ukraine. Israel's launch of a ground incursion into Gaza also impacted sentiment.
On a day of light economic news, the euro area current account surplus declined in May as the income and the surplus on visible trade decreased from April, the European Central Bank said. The current account surplus fell to a seasonally adjusted 19.5 billion euros from 21.6 billion euros in April.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is losing 0.27%, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major UK companies, is falling 0.26%.
The German DAX and Switzerland's SMI are losing 0.5% each, while the UK'sFTSE 100 is down 0.3%. The French CAC 40 is falling less than a tenth of a percent.
In Frankfurt, HeidelbergCement is falling 3.3%. Morgan Stanley cut the stock to ''Underweight'' from ''Equal-weight.''
Daimler is losing 2.3%. Credit Suisse reduced its rating on the stock to ''Neutral'' from ''Outperform.''
Beiersdorf is falling 1.4%, following a downgrade at Exane BNP.
Societe Generale initiated Leg Immobilien with a ''Buy'' rating. The stock is notably higher.
In Paris, Technip is losing 1.8% and Michelin is falling 1.7%.
Lafarge and LVMH are down 1.4% and 1.1%, respectively. Air France-KLM is notably lower.
UBS raised Alstom to ''Buy'' from ''Neutral.'' The stock is up 1.2%.
Alcatel Lucent is gaining 4% and Remy Cointreau, which reported results, is gaining 4.1%.
In London, Barratt Developments and Royal Mail are losing 2.2% each.
Avanti Communications is losing nearly 3%. The firm expects profit before tax for fiscal year 2014 to be lower than consensus, while revenues are anticipated to be in line with market view.
Shire is up over 2%. The drugmaker announced that it agreed on terms of merger with US-based AbbVie.
Volvo is declining 5.3% in Stockholm. The truck-maker reported second-quarter numbers, and noted of demand drop in China.
Schibsted is falling 5.6% in Oslo. The media group reported a sharp plunge in its second-quarter profit.
Ericsson is gaining 8% in Stockholm after second-quarter profit increased.
The Asian stocks turned in a mixed performance as geopolitical worries sapped investors' appetite for risk.
In the US, futures point to a cautious open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the Dow fell 0.9%, the tech-heavy Nasdaq dropped 1.4% and the S&P 500 shed 1.2%.
Crude for August delivery is gaining USD0.38 to USD103.57 per barrel, while gold is falling USD6.4 to USD1310.5 a troy ounce.