European stocks slide 2.8% after weak euro zone data, new UK economic plan

European stocks were down sharply on Friday as investors digested a series of central bank decisions and a new economic plan from the UK

The Stoxx 600 was down 2.8% in the early afternoon, with all sectors and major exchanges trading in the red.

Oil & Gas stocks and Basic Resources were the main losers, both down more than 4%.

Thursday’s market moves come after the UK government announced a series of tax cuts as the country prepares for a recession. Sterling was down 1.8% against the dollar around midday to trade at $1.1048 after the news.

The Bank of England too increased rates by 50 basis points on Thursday – his seventh straight increase – and said he believed the UK economy was already in recession.

Also on Thursday, the Swiss National Bank raised its benchmark rate to 0.5%a change that ends an era of negative rates in Europe.

The US Federal Reserve, on the other hand, increased by an additional three-quarters of a percentage point Wednesday, and indicated that the hikes would continue.

US stocks closed lower on Thursday, their third consecutive daily decline, and futures were also lower on Friday.

Asian marketsmeanwhile, were in the red, with Australian shares down 2%.

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