In Europe Friday, a strengthening euro and a rout in automaker stocks helped drive major benchmarks lower across the board. 

Taking heart from ECB head Mario Draghi's Thursday suggestion that the central bank may soon begin to reconsider its current monetary policy, the euro continued to take ground from many of its peers during the Friday session, which added weight around the ankles of an already-struggling set of markets. 

But it was carnage in the European automotive space that really helped sink the boat on Friday with multiple factors conspiring to hit the sector hard during the session. 

London's FTSE 100 was the least worst performer for the session after having notched up a loss of 0.51% little more than an hour out from the close. The index was quoted at 7,449 while its mid-market FTSE 250 sibling was down 0.54% at 19,657.

In Paris, the automotive and euro denominated CAC 40 index was 1.81% lower at 5,104, while the DAX in Frankfurt was quoted 1.90% down, at 12,215. Stocks in Southern Europe were also broadly lower. 

In Frankfurt, Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) slid by nearly 4% after its Audi unit said it would recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles to fix engine software in a bid to reduce their emissions output, while a fresh diesel-linked scandal brewed around the German car industry.

Close to 850,000 cars carrying specific kinds of six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines were affected by the recall initially, although the VW Group is also expected to recall Volkswagen and Porsche-branded cars.

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