The pan-European Stoxx 600 slid 0.8% in early trade, with autos dropping 2.7% to lead losses while utilities bucked the downward trend to add 0.8%.
A fire broke out at a training facility at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after an attack by Russian forces early Friday morning. Ukraine officials said the situation is now secure, while the U.S. Nuclear Incident Response Team has been activated.
International leaders have condemned the bombardment and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he would call for an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the attack.
Russia has been ratcheting up its assault on its neighbor in recent days, shelling major cities and advancing toward the capital city of Kyiv. The invasion has drawn unprecedented economic sanctions from Western governments.
U.S. stock futures also fell early Friday morning ahead of a key jobs report, but recouped some losses following the reassuring statements out of Kyiv.
Earnings before the bell on Friday came from Lufthansa, while economic data releases include February PMI (purchasing managers’ index) readings from the euro zone and the U.K.
In terms of individual share price movement, Spain’s Cellnex Telecom gained 5.6% to lead the Stoxx 600 after the British regulator approved its purchase of 6,000 mobile towers.
At the bottom of the European blue chip index, German energy company Uniper fell 8.3%.