LONDON, April 11 European stocks opened lower on
Friday, tracking a retreat in global equities and setting local
indexes on course for their first weekly loss in a month.
Geopolitical tensions further dampened investor appetite
before the weekend after Russian president Vladimir Putin warned
the country's gas supplies to Europe could be disrupted if
Moscow cuts the flow to Ukraine over unpaid bills, drawing a
U.S. accusation that it is using energy "as a tool of coercion".
Shares in European blue-chips with the biggest exposure to
Russia underperformed, with Austrian lender Raiffeisen Bank
International down 2.1 percent.
At 0704 GMT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
fell 1 percent to 1,318.52 points while the euro zone
blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index fell 0.9 percent to
Japanese shares sank to six-month lows on Friday
while the U.S. Nasdaq suffered its biggest drop in 2-1/2
years the night before, heightening investor anxiety about a
broader pullback after several equity indexes around the world
hit multi-year-highs in recent weeks.
The Euro STOXX 50 index was set to suffer its steepest
weekly loss since January as it retreated from 5-1/2 year highs
and "overbought" conditions hit last Friday, as shown by its
seven-day Relative Strength Index, a momentum indicator.
(Reporting By Francesco Canepa; Editing by Alistair Smout)