European markets started the month sharply lower, on fears of a sooner-than-expected rise in U.S. interest rates as well as worries over the effect of stepped up sanctions against Russia, which came into force this morning. Disappointing July manufacturing figures across both the Eurozone and the U.K. weighed heavily as the morning wore on. Investors are now looking for direction from the U.S. non-farm payroll figures later today. French budget mobile communications operator Iliad plummeted as the market showed little understanding of its $15 billion bid for T-Mobile U.S. – which puts it into competition with Japan’s Softbank, the owner of Sprint Corp. International Consolidated Airlines Group, the owner of both British Airways and the Spanish Airline Iberia, returned to profit in the April-June quarter as its turnaround of Iberia progressed. British medical devices and orthopedic implants maker Smith & Nephew was top riser in the FTSE100, as its profits were boosted by the U.S. market for hips and knees.