In US economic data, durable goods orders rose by 0.7 per cent in June, ahead of forecasts tipping a 0.5 per cent gain. Excluding defence equipment, orders rose by 0.7 per cent, ahead of projected gains of 0.6 per cent.
European shares eased on Friday after data showed the German Ifo business climate index hit nine-month lows in July. Shares in luxury retailer LVMH fell by 6.8 per cent after its profit result missed market forecasts. The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell by 0.7 per cent with the German Dax down by 1.5 per cent while the UK FTSE lost 0.4 per cent. Australia's major miners were slightly lower in London trade with shares in BHP Billiton down by 0.1 per cent while Rio Tinto lost 0.7 per cent.