As broker downgrades hurt Unilever and L'Oreal, while fears of more U.S. subprime losses weighed on sentiment, European stocks were down Friday – to the lowst level in 5 months.
Unilever was down 6.3 percent after Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation to "underweight" from "equal-weight".
Unilever is a multi-national corporation, formed of Anglo-Dutch parentage, that owns many of the world's consumer product brands in foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products.
L'Oreal shed 4.6 percent after dealers said Deutsche Bank downgraded its rating to "sell" from "hold".
L’oreal is the world's largest cosmetics and beauty company. L'Oréal has developed activities in the field of cosmetics, concentrating on hair color, skin care, sun protection, make-up, perfumes and hair care. L'Oréal is active in the dermatological and pharmaceutical fields. L'Oréal is also the top nanotechnology patent-holder in the United States. The CEO of L'Oreal SA is Jean-Paul Agon.
The United Kingdom 's FTSE 100 Index slipped 0.2% to 6210.10, while the French CAC-40 Index moved down 0.1% to 5393.16. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index slipped 0.3% to 344.43. The German DAX 30 Index, however, managed to tack on gains, rising 0.3% to 7732.77 after retailer Metro made second-day gains of 1.5%.
When the leaders of the two great nations were discussing the fate of the world, journalists were analysing their vehicles and airplanes