European markets fell Thursday as investor sentiment was weighed down by the anticipation that the consumer confidence data for France and Germany to be reported later in the day might confirm the gloomy outlook for household consumption.

The French CAC 40 index was down 0.45 percent or 15.24 points to 3396.29.  Shares of Renault SA fell 2.19 percent and those of Alstom SA declined 1.42 percent.

London’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.38 percent or 21.99 points to 5783.06. Shares of CRH PLC declined 1.80 percent and shares of Barclays PLC were down 1.52 percent.

The German DAX 30 index was down 0.38 percent or 27.12 points to 7173.11. Shares of Daimler AG fell 0.92 percent and those of Linde AG declined 0.47 percent.

Spain's IBEX 35 was down 0.67 percent or 52.10 points to 7727.10. Shares of Abengoa SA fell 1.13 percent and those of Acciona SA dropped 1.53 percent.

The consumer confidence data, measuring the level of consumer confidence in economic activity, will be reported in France and Germany Friday. It is a leading indicator as it can predict consumer spending, which plays a major role in overall economic activity.

Meanwhile, Italian business confidence, which rates the current level of business conditions, will also be reported Friday. It helps analyze the economic situation in the short-term with a rising trend indicating an increase in business investment which may lead to higher levels of output.

“French consumer confidence is expected to decline further in October to 84.0 from 85.0 on deteriorating labor market and rising unemployment. German consumer confidence likely remained unchanged at 5.9, according to the Gfk survey, a level which was observed for the major part of the current year. Finally, Italian business confidence is expected to improve only slightly, from 88.3 to 88.7, close to its past six months’ average,” Credit Agricole said in a note.