Most European markets opened lower on Friday and followed losses on Wall Street.

Europe's FTSEUROFIRST 300 opened 0.1% lower, at 1,226.89 points.

Britain's FTSE 100 opened flat in early deals.

Germany's DAX was down 0.4% in opening trade.

France's CAC 40 and Spain's IBEX were down 0.01% in opening trade.

Italy's FTSE MIB was down 0.6% in opening trade.

Earlier, data from the US showed that weekly jobless claims fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, their lowest in about six years. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 335,000. Upbeat US labour market data fuelled Federal Reserve QE taper fears and sparked a selling spree on Wall Street on Thursday.

In company news, Danish transportation and energy major AP Moeller Maersk on Friday reported a 28% lower pre-tax profit for the second quarter of 2013.

The company, which operates the world's largest container shipping business, expects its full-year net result to drop to around $3.3bn (£2.1bn, €2.5bn), from $4bn in 2012. Excluding impairment losses and divestment gains, the annual net result is projected to be around $3.5bn, up from the previous year's $2.9bn.

Electronics firm Bang and Olufsen will also put out its earnings update during the day.

In Asia and the US

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei and Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.75% lower each while South Korea's Kospi ended 0.20% lower on Friday.

Earlier in Asia, rumours of a potential cash reserve ratio (CRR) cut for China's banks boosted mainland Chinese equities, which struck a two-month high and retreated. The rally in Shanghai helped regional markets pare losses.

Asian markets opened lower on Friday morning after Wall Street indices tumbled overnight on fears of Federal Reserve QE tapering.

On Wall Street, the Dow finished 225.47 points lower, or 1.47%, at 15,112.19, pulled down by a 7% percent drop in Cisco. The S&P 500 closed 24.07 points lower, or 1.43%, at 1,661.32, while the Nasdaq closed 63.16 points lower, or 1.72%, at 3,606.12.