BRUSSELS (Alliance News) - European stocks tanked in the final hour of Friday's session, wiping out strong gains from earlier in the day amid reports Ukraine forces have engaged Russian tanks on Ukrainian soil.
Global markets had been rising on hopes that conflict between Russia and Ukraine could be avoided, but this clash prompted investors to take profits ahead of the weekend.
Mixed economic data also kept traders on their toes.
The UK economy grew by 3.2% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, slightly higher than the original 3.1% estimate
A gauge of US consumer sentiment in August hit the lowest level in nine months amid geopolitical worries.
The Euro Stoxx 50 slipped 0.97%, but posted a weekly gain of 0.72%.
The German DAX tumbled 1.18%, the French CAC 40 added 0.61% and the UK's FTSE 100 is added 0.16%. Switzerland's SMI lost 0.28%.
Markets in Greece, Italy and Austria were closed today for the Assumption Day holiday.
In Frankfurt, Lufthansa lost 0.59% amid reports that the German government is reviewing its aviation policy.
Hennes & Mauritz was 0.8% higher after the chain reported strong sales for July.
HeidelbergCement eased 0.45%. The stock was upgraded to "Buy" from "Hold" at Berenberg.
Optoelectronics firm Jenoptik slid 0.7% after a broker upgrade.
Telecom Italia Group confirmed that it is considering to make an offer for Vivendi's Brazilian telecom business, TIM Participacoes SA, with the Vivendi-owned GVT. Vivendi lost 0.36%.
In London, BHP Billiton rose 1.4%, after announcing that a demerger of a selection of assets is its preferred option, as part of portfolio simplification.
Balfour Beatty is gaining moderately, after rejecting Carillon's acquisition offer yet again. Carillon slipped 4%.
Roche said the US Food and Drug Administration had approved the use of its Avastin cancer drug in combination with chemotherapy to treat advanced cervical cancer. The stock slipped 0.7%.
Original headline: European Stocks Plunge As Ukraine Fights Russian Tanks
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