London - European equities were broadly lower in early trading on Friday, with investors trading cautiously ahead of widely tracked US jobs data and as tensions in Ukraine escalated.
The focus of investors, a day after the May Day holiday in most of Europe, will be on the US non-farm payrolls, which probably advanced by 210,000 jobs in April, up from a gain of 192,000 in March, according to a Reuters survey.
Societe Generale economists predicted an addition of 220,000 jobs last month, while Credit Agricole saw a rise of 215,000.
At 0713 GMT, Britain's FTSE 100, France's CAC , Germany's DAX and the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 indexes were down 0.1 to 0.4 percent.
Investors remained jittery following lingering geopolitical concerns. Ukrainian forces launched a “large-scale operation” to retake the eastern town of Slaviansk, pro-Russian separatists holding the town said on Friday.
On the earnings front, part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland trebled its profit in the first quarter, benefiting from improved cost control and a reduction in impairment costs. Its shares surged 10 percent.