European stock markets slid on Friday -- with Athens dropping over four percent -- as investors reacted to Greece delaying a debt repayment, and awaited key US jobs data.
The OPEC oil cartel was meanwhile holding a meeting to determine production levels, with expectations that it will continue pumping at the current high levels, which would put downward pressure on already low crude prices.
"Today’s (US) non-farm payrolls data, snippets of news on Greek discussions and sound bites from today's OPEC meeting are all battling for traders' attention," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG trading group.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index lost 0.78 percent to stand at 6,805.97 points in late morning deals.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.15 percent to 11,209.74 points and the CAC 40 in Paris tumbled 1.43 percent to 4,915.89 compared with Thursday's close.
The European single currency rose to $1.1262 from $1.1239 late in New York on Thursday.
Greece bought time in debt crisis negotiations with official creditors Thursday when it moved to bundle four looming IMF loan payments into one, to be paid by the end of June.
The rare move, permitted by the International Monetary Fund only once before, allowed Athens to avoid a Friday deadline to remit about 300 million euros ($340 million) to the crisis lender, as it weighs the newest proposal from its IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank creditors.
Athens' Athex Composite index suffered a hefty 4.55 percent slide to 789.47 points in midday deals, with stocks of Greek banks declining over five percent.
Asian stocks meanwhile dropped Friday and Wall Street retreated overnight after the IMF slashed its forecasts for US growth this year to 2.5 percent from a previous estimate of 3.1 percent, citing a ports strike, bad winter weather, a strong dollar and the oil price downturn.
Fund head Christine Lagarde also called on the US Federal Reserve to refrain from hiking interest rates until 2016, saying conditions were not supportive of a move this year.
Her comments come as markets await the release Friday of US jobs growth for May, which is used by the Fed to guide rate policy.
"The first Friday of the month will once again see the usual volatility injection into the currency markets courtesy of the US non-farm payrolls figures," said analyst McCaig.
Despite edging higher Friday, the euro has been relatively weak against the dollar, helping to support the German economy, Europe's biggest.
Germany's central bank said the country's economy has shifted into higher gear powered by low unemployment, higher wages and a weak European single currency.
After notching up growth of 1.6 percent last year, Germany would see gross domestic product expand by 1.7 percent in 2015, 1.8 percent in 2016 and 1.5 percent in 2017, the Bundesbank said Friday in its latest monthly report.