(Reuters) - Europe's markets closed mixed on Thursday after a profit warning from retail heavyweight Tesco and weak U.S. retail and labor data more than offset relief from successful Spanish and Italian debt auctions.
On Thursday, London's FTSE 100 closed down 8 points to 5,662, Germany's DAX closed up 27 points to 6,179, and France's CAC 40 closed down 5 points to 3,200.
Also, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares fell 0.3 percent to a provisional close of 1,018.75 points after hitting a five-month high of 1,031.08.
Tesco fell 16.2 percent after issuing its first profit warning in living memory, on fears the world's third-biggest retailer would launch a price war to fight back from its worst Christmas in decades.
The European retail index was the top decliner, down 5.7 percent.
When companies that have previously been at the top of their game start to disappoint, investors run scared for a while. The issue is whether this is destabilising for the sector as a whole, said Richard Jeffrey, chief investment officer at Cazenove Capital Management.
Adding to the gloom, U.S. retail sales rose at the weakest pace in seven months in December and first-time claims for jobless benefits moved higher last week, signs the economic recovery remains shaky despite a pick-up in growth.