Financial spreadbetters predicted Britain's FTSE 100 to open 19 to 21 points lower, or as much as 0.4 percent, Germany's DAX to fall 8 to 10 points, or as much as 0.2 percent, and France's CAC-40 to drop 9 to 10 points, or as much as 0.4 percent.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, after talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, said on Thursday they had agreed to stop arguing in public over whether the European Central Bank should do more to resolve the crisis.
Merkel said she would not soften her opposition to issuing joint euro zone bonds, and added that the proposals for more intrusive powers to enforce EU budget rules, including the right to take delinquent governments to the European Court of Justice, were a first step towards deeper fiscal union.
"Yesterday's meeting between Sarkozy, Monti and Merkel sapped trader's hopes for the creation of a euro bond, and made them roll their eyes as it was made resolutely clear that EU policy makers intend to try and solve the debt crisis through increasing fiscal union," said Jonathan Sudaria, dealer at Capital Spreads.
"Such a solution is likely to be a long drawn out bureaucratic affair, exactly the opposite of what the markets are looking for to restore confidence. Whilst Merkel sticks to this line and opposes the creation of euro bonds, market sentiment will continue on its downward trajectory."
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares hit a seven-week low on Thursday and closed 0.3 percent lower at 899.50 points in choppy trade.