European stock markets slid further Friday as geopolitical tensions kept investors on edge, with the White House flashing its teeth at a belligerant North Korea for the second time this week.
President Trump delivered his latest message to the isolated Asian nation via Twitter, issuing a second direct warning of severe consequences if the North Korean military carries out any missile tests that threaten U.S. territory.
The Global Times, a Chinese state-ran newspaper, said in an editorial Friday that China would remain neutral in the event of a U.S. attack on North Korea if it had launched missiles that threatened U.S. soil. However, the editorial added that China would intervene in any attempt to otherwise overthrow the North Korean regime or to change the political landscape of Asia.
London's FTSE 100, which is heavily weighted toward miners, fell 0.99% to 7,316 Friday. In Paris, the CAC 40 index dropped 1.07% to 5,060 while, in Frankfurt, the DAX eked out a fractional 0.04% gain to 12,026.
South European benchmarks were sharply lower, with both the MIB in Milan and the IBEX in Madrid posting losses of more than 1%.
In individual stocks, Glencore (GLNCF) , Rio Tinto (RIO) - Get Rio Tinto plc Sponsored ADR Report , Anglo American (NGLOY) and BHP Billiton (BHP) - Get BHP Group Ltd Sponsored ADR Report were all loitering at the bottom of the FTSE 100 a short time ahead of the close. Price action came on a day when iron ore and nickel futures prices were down 5% and 2.5%, respectively, while each of the companies are heavily exposed to China.
Over on the continent, one of the biggest fallers across the board was, perhaps predictably, the mining and steel firm ArcelorMittal (MT) - Get ArcelorMittal SA ADR Report , whose shares slid more than 4% during noon trading. France saw additional weakness from financial stocks such as Societe Generale (SCGLY) , which fell just more than 1.5%, while industrials like Peugeot (PEUGF) were notably weak also.
In Frankfurt, losses for Commerzbank (CRZBY) and Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Report were partially offset by gains for drugmaker Merck (MKGAY) and Fresenius (FMS) - Get Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA Sponsored ADR Report .