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European Markets Tumble Further On Continued Global Weakness

The European markets logged another loss on Friday, capping their worst week in nearly two years. Global markets remain under pressure after another sharp sell-off on Wall Street Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its second 1,000 plus point decline this week yesterday.

Equity markets around the globe have been tumbling on concerns over rising inflation, which could lead to further rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Rising bond yields have applied further pressure to the equity markets. As yields increase, riskier investments like equities have become less attractive to traders.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on developments in Washington. U.S. lawmakers managed to end a brief government shutdown with a bill raising spending caps and funding the government until March 23rd.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index weakened by 1.45 percent. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone blue chip stocks decreased 1.52 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, lost 1.70 percent.

The DAX of Germany dropped 1.25 percent and the CAC 40 of France fell 1.41 percent. The FTSE 100 of the U.K. declined 1.09 percent and the SMI of Switzerland finished lower by 0.93 percent.

In Paris, asset manager Amundi tumbled 5.78 percent after it set out a new growth target for the 2018-2020 period.

L'Oreal advanced 0.32 percent after strong demand in Asia helped the cosmetics giant boost its fourth-quarter sales.

In London, Tesco lost 1.53 percent after an U.S. activist investor said Booker Group should get a better offer from the grocery and general merchandise retailer. Booker shares also advanced percent.

TalkTalk Telecom dropped 2.78 percent, a day after the company warned on profits and slashed dividend.

Transport and logistics company A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S rose 0.10 percent in Copenhagen after its fourth-quarter profit missed expectations.

Umicore surged 7.78 percent in Brussels after the company reported better-than-expected full-year results.

France's industrial production expanded more than expected in December reversing a drop in November, the statistical office Insee said Friday. Industrial production grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in December, in contrast to a 0.3 percent fall in November. Output was expected to grow 0.1 percent.

UK industrial production declined in December as the closure of the Forties pipeline dampened oil and gas extraction, while manufacturing continued to expand for the eighth straight month. Industrial output contracted 1.3 percent month-on-month in December, which was the first fall in nine months, the Office for National Statistics reported Friday.

Economists had forecast output to drop moderately by 0.9 percent after expanding 0.3 percent in November.

The UK visible trade deficit widened at the end of the year, data published by the Office for National Statistics showed Friday. The visible trade deficit rose to GBP 13.57 billion in December from GBP 12.45 billion in November. The expected level of shortfall was GBP 11.55 billion.

China's consumer and producer price inflation slowed in January, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed Friday. Consumer prices climbed 1.5 percent year-on-year in January, the weakest in four months, after rising 1.8 percent in December. The rate came in line with expectations.

A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed wholesale inventories in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of December. The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose by 0.4 percent in December after climbing by a revised 0.6 percent in November. Economists had expected inventories to edge up by 0.2 percent.

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