The FTSE MIB in Milan lost 2 percent to 21,745.71, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt: Both were down 1.8 percent, to 4,572.02 and to 10,136.85 respectively. The FTSE 100 in London fell 1.6 percent to 6,095.85.
Next was the biggest faller in London, down 3.6 percent to 75.60 pounds. According to reports, the British retailer’s stock had fallen as Exane BNP Paribas lowered its rating on the firm to “underperform” from “neutral.” Investors are also said to be taking a cautious approach ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data due later on Friday.
Fashion, luxury and retail stocks mirrored the markets’ downward trend.
Aside from Next, the biggest fallers numbered Asos, 3.7 percent to 27.92 pounds; Kering, 4.2 percent to 144.60 euros; French Connection, 6.7 percent to 0.33 pounds, and Yoox Group, 3.4 percent to 26.90 euros.
Another backdrop to the retail stocks’ falls was downbeat data released Friday by the U.K.’s BDO monthly high street sales tracker. The index showed that high street sales in the U.K. fell 4.3 percent in August, compared to the same month last year. That represented the biggest fall since November 2008. Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO, said that Brits has spent on “leisure pursuits, eating out and holidays,” instead of buying products.
At 12:25 p.m. CET, the pound traded for $1.53, while the euro went for $1.12.