The broad-based major European markets closed sharply lower in Friday's trading session, as global equities continue a week-long slump that has sent many markets slide into correction territory.
In economic news, the UK's trade deficit widened by GBP3.8 billion ($5.25 billion) to GBP10.8 billion in Q4 of 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics ( ONS ). Excluding erratic commodities, the deficit widened by GBP1.5 billion to GBP9 billion.
The ONS said the GBP3.8 billion widening of the total trade (goods and services) deficit was due to a GBP3.3 billion widening of the trade in goods deficit, and a GBP0.5 billion narrowing of the trade in services surplus. The trade deficit in oil had the largest impact on the widening of the trade in goods deficit.
In Germany, local courts reported 1,771 business insolvencies in November, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), which was a 5.6% increase compared with the same month the previous year. The prospective debts owed to creditors amounted to just under EUR9.0 billion ($11.04 billion) in November.
Destatis also reported that the turnover in the main construction industry in November was up 8.5% compared with the November of 2016, while the number of people employed by main construction industry entrepreneurs rose 2.3% compared to a year earlier.
In France, manufacturing output increased 2.5% in Q4 of 2017, while overall industry output rose 2.2% during the same time period, according to the Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). Machinery and equipment goods climbed 4.1%, while transportation equipment was up 2.3%. Output increased 0.2% in mining and quarrying, energy, and water supply. Conversely, it decreased 0.7% in the manufacture of food products and beverages, and fell 1% in the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products.
In equities, Johnson Matthey led the FTSE lower in London, falling 4.3%, followed by education and media company Pearson, Royal Bank of Scotland, and private healthcare services provider NMC Health, which lost 3.3%, 3.2%, and 3.1% respectively. TV broadcaster ITV, and luxury goods company Burberry each closed 3% lower.
In Frankfurt, Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank fell 4.1% and 2.2% respectively, while media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media and technology company Siemens lost 2.4% and 2.3%. Electricity and gas supplier RWE was off 2.1%, while insurance firm Allianz, and chemical company BASF each dropped 1.8%.
In Paris, oil services firm TechnipFMC, and construction and engineering company Vinvi led the CAC lower, falling 3.5% and 3.4% respectively, followed by pharmaceutical maker Sanofi, and automobile manufacturer Peugeot, which were off 2.6% and 2.5%. Environmental management services, Veolia Environnement, bank Credit Agricole, and media company Vivendi each closed 2.4% lower.
The FTSE fell 1.09%, the DAX dropped 1.25%, and the CAC-40 lost 1.41%.