LONDON (The Deal) -- Europe's markets turned sharply lower on Friday, hit by 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. There was also a swath of disappointing manufacturing figures from both inside and outside the eurozone.
Markit's Eurozone purchasing managers index for the manufacturing sector came in at 51.8 for July, unchanged from June and slightly below expectations. But there was particular attention on France, which came in at 47.8 -- a seven-month low -- and Greece, which reversed June's positive outcome to hit a nine month low at 48.7. Any number under 50 represents a decline in output.
Even in the U.K., which has been outperforming the eurozone, manufacturing growth was slower than expected, falling from 57.5 to 55.4 on the Market/CIPS survey. The markets will also be watching U.S. non-farm payroll figures this afternoon.
In individual stocks, the most spectacular start-of-the-month plummet was French budget mobile operator Iliad (ILIAY), which fell almost 10% at the open as analysts panned its $15 billion bid for a 56.6% stake in T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS), for which it's likely to need to raise about $12 billion of debt. One big question: where will Iliad boss Xavier Niel find the $10 billion of synergies he's banking on to make the deal a success?