(MENAFN - AFP) Europe's leading stock markets fell Friday as traders awaited key US economic data expected to give clues on when the Federal Reserve will start scaling back its huge stimulus programme.
Declines for metal prices caused by profit-taking meanwhile weighed on the mining sector, traders said.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.27 percent to stand at 6,571.34 points in late morning deals.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 eased 0.13 percent to 8,483.29 points and the CAC 40 in Paris slid 0.14 percent to 4,100.96 compared with Thursday's closing levels.
"In focus are the retail sales numbers and consumer sentiment from the US (due Friday) -- with retail sales expected to be up, while the sentiment may have actually fallen," said Gekko Markets trader Anita Paluch.
"The reason why retail sales are so closely watched is they account for around 70 percent of the US economy. They will be a key aspect when it comes to the Fed deciding whether to curb on its purchasing programme."
In foreign exchange trade Friday, the European single currency dropped to 1.3288 from 1.3299 late in New York overnight. The dollar gained to 99.66 yen from 99.47 yen.
The price of gold slipped to 1,310.51 an ounce on the London Bullion Market, from 1,328 Thursday.
"European indices and gold prices have seen additional losses, as market expectations of a Fed asset-purchase reduction announcement next week were ramped up," said Brenda Kelly, senior market strategist at IG trading group.
In London deals, shares in miner Anglo American were down 2.97 percent at 1,572.34 pence. Vedanta Resources lost 2.62 percent to 1,151 pence.
Kabel Deutschland meanwhile jumped 5.94 percent to 91.52 euros after the German cable operator announced late Thursday that its shareholders had given the go-ahead for a 7.7 billion euro (10 billion) takeover by Vodafone.
The offer by the British mobile phone giant is worth 87 euros per Kabel share.
Shares in Vodafone, which is flush with cash after recently selling its stake in a US joint venture to partners Verizon for 130 billion, was 0.33-percent higher to 210.8 pence.
Elsewhere, Aer Lingus slumped 8.52 percent to 1.45 euros after the Irish airline issued a shock profit warning, mirroring a recent announcement from rival Ryanair.
The Irish stock market was down 0.45 percent overall.
Aer Lingus cut its forecast for annual 2013 net profit to about 60 million euros as hot weather in Ireland and Britain hit demand for holidays abroad, it said in a statement.
That compared with the group's previous guidance for about 69.1 million euros.
Asian stock markets mostly closed lower on Friday as attention turned to next week's US Federal Reserve meeting.
Wall Street provided a soft lead, with no fresh cues to spur buying, as dealers await the Fed's plans for its huge stimulus programme.
Twitter on Thursday announced that it had submitted papers for the most hotly anticipated stock offering in the tech sector since Facebook last year.
Twitter's market value has been estimated at about 10 billion based on early venture capital investments, but the initial public offering (IPO) is likely to bring a higher amount.