European shares fell back today, as investors nervously eyed key jobs data in the United States and a weekend referendum in Italy.

In London the FTSE closed 0.33% lower at 6,730, while all of the major euro zone markets also ended down.

The CAC in Paris lost 0.7% to 4,528, and in Frankfurt the DAX dropped 0.06% to 10,504.

In Dublin the ISEQ fell 0.22% to close at 6,174. AIB and FBD are among the best performing shares, while Applegreen and Permanent TSB both lost value.

Meanwhile, in the US the S&P and the Nasdaq rose for the first time in three days today, helped by gains in healthcare and consumer staples stocks, but the Dow was weighed down by Goldman Sachs.

Shortly before 6pm the Dow Jones had lost 0.15% to 19,163, while the Nasdaq was 0.2% higher on 5,261.

Earlier in Asia, Hong Kong stocks ended the week with a sharp loss, tracking a sell-off across the region, as traders stepped back after recent gains.

The Hang Seng Index slipped 1.37%, or 313.41 points, to close at 22,564.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9%, or 29.47 points, to 3,243 and the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China's second exchange, lost 1.66%, or 35.20 points, to 2,084.

Meanwhile, Tokyo stocks closed lower as investors grew cautious ahead of US jobs data and a weekend Italian referendum, with the benchmark index slipping off a 2016 high.

The Nikkei 225 lost 0.47% , or 87.04 points, to end at 18,426, having chalked up its highest close this year yesterday.