Unease returned to markets in Europe Friday following a broad spread of poorer-than-expected corporate earnings reports and as the various discussions around French and transatlantic politics continued.
The net effect was an uplift in bond markets, with yields forced lower, and steep losses for equity markets. In FX markets, sterling and the euro were both lower against the greenback by the time stock markets closed.
The FTSE 100 index closed 0.38% lower in London, at 7,244. The DAX in Frankfurt dropped 1.21%, to 11,804 and the CAC in Paris fell 0.94%.
In southern Europe, the IBEX in Madrid slipped 0.42%, to 9,453, while in Milan, the FTSE MIB slumped 1.18%, to 18,596.
The Stoxx Europe 600 index, a broad measure of all European stocks, was down 0.70%, to 370.20.
Perhaps all too predictably, weak banking stocks were a common theme across the continent during the session, although losses were equally as apparent for a broader spread of companies who delivered results in the early hours.
In London, RBS (RBS) was down nearly 5%, making it the top faller on the FTSE 100 index. It reported a larger-than-expected loss for the full year, its ninth consecutive year in the red, and pushed back forecasts for the time when it becomes profitable.
Standard Chartered (SCBFF) was also among the top fallers after it missed expectations for earnings in the fourth quarter.
The emerging market focused lender returned to profitability in 2016, following a record restructuring and loan-impairment driven loss in 2015, but it also disappointed investors when it failed to reinstate its dividend and appeared to talk-down market expectations for future returns to shareholders.
In France, Vivendi (VIVHY) beat expectations for full-year earnings, but the stock fell nearly 4%, after management left investors unconvinced about the outlook for 2017, in the wake of an analyst conference call Friday.
The French media company said revenue growth will be around 5% and Ebitda growth will be somewhere in the region of 25% for the year ahead, which was seen as an aggressive set of targets, but management declined to give details on exactly from where in the business they expect this growth to come.
Peugeot (PEUGF) stock continued to pull back after Thursday's results. The French carmaker beat expectations for earnings in the full year but after several months of strong gains, the shares have pulled back in the wake of the announcement.
In Germany, television and media firm Prosieben (PBSFY) was among the biggest fallers on the DAX after dropping nearly 4%.
It reported a positive start to its first quarter after the market closed on Thursday, but said the cash proceeds coming from the anticipated sale of some online travel assets will go toward further acquisitions, not back to shareholders.
BASF (BASFY) , the chemicals firm, saw its stock slip to near the bottom of the DAX after it said it sees no need to engage in transformational M&A, despite the rest of the chemicals sector consolidating, with mergers involving Monsanto (MON) , Bayer (BAYRY) , Dow (DOW) and DuPont (DD) .