12:52 PM EDT, 09/23/2022 (MT Newswires) -- European shares ended the week deep in the red on the back of weak data pointing to a Q3 economic contraction in the eurozone, while the UK's tax cuts to prepare for an economic downturn failed to allay jitters in the market.
At the end of trading Friday, the Stoxx Europe 600 was off 2.34%, London's FTSE 100 was down 1.97%, the Swiss Market Index was 1.55% lower, France's CAC was down 2.28% and Germany's DAX was off 1.97%.
S&P Global said its eurozone flash composite output index decreased as expected to 48.2 in September from a revised 48.9 in August, the lowest reading within a 20-month period. It also noted more companies as seeing worsening business conditions. As such, S&P expects a 0.1% contraction in Q3, with Germany bearing the brunt.
"With demand slumping and companies growing increasingly pessimistic about the outlook, the survey's forward-looking indicators point to a steepening economic decline for the eurozone in the fourth quarter, adding to the likelihood of the region falling into recession," S&P Global Market Intelligence Chief Business Economist Chris Williamson said in a statement.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled his mini-budget, which included historic tax cuts and additional borrowing. The announcement caused the pound to plunge, with analysts now entertaining a real possibility for a USD-GBP parity within the next six months.
In corporate news, Equinor (EQNR.OL) said it signed a 10-year deal to supply 15% of Poland's gas needs. PGNiG (PGN.WA), which has also been affected by delivery issues by Russia's Gazprom (GAZP.ME), undertook the deal in a bid to further diversify its gas supplies.
Shares of the Norwegian state-owned energy company were down 5.37% in Oslo, while the Polish group lost 5.75% on the Warsaw stock exchange.
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