Disappointing economic data out of the US also weighed on the market.
In Europe the FTSE shed 43 points (-0.7%) to settle at 5852, whilst the CAC (-1.5%) and DAX (-1.4%) suffered even heavier falls.
Stateside, the Dow Jones shed 89 points (-0.7%) to settle at 12801, whilst the broader S&P (-0.7%) and tech-heavy Nasdaq (-0.8%) endured similar declines.
The Aussie dollar slipped lower on Friday night, trading back down to the US$1.06 handle, whilst the euro gained against the majority of its most-traded counterparts as the central bank saw signs of “stabilization” in the region and investors speculated Greece would convince European leaders to release its aid package.
Oil was weaker, giving up 1.2% after its recent run higher to settle at US$98.67 a barrel.
Base metals were all weaker following data showing that Chinese imports were down 15.3% on a year earlier.
Gold was off 0.9%, to US$1,725 an ounce. For the week bullion shed US$15 an ounce.
In company news, Leighton Holdings has reported a 57% increase in half year net profit to $340 million. An interim dividend of 60 cents was declared.
JB Hi-Fi and SingTel also report earnings today, whilst on Wednesday Commonwealth Bank, Fortescue and Westfield report.
The ASX, AMP, Westpac and Wesfarmers report Thursday and ANZ, Billabong, Harvey Norman and Santos report Friday.
Today’s session will bring us the latest home loans data, at 11:30am, AEDT.