Industrial production fell across Europe as oil and mineral companies cut outputs and slashed investing, while weaker global growth, especially in China and developing companies, stymied European exports in December, leaving consumer spending the only driver of growth, both in Britain and the Eurozone.
France's output slumped 1.6% m/m in December, the biggest drop since May 2014, and added to November's 0.9% drop. Analysts expected a 0.2% growth. Italian output fell 0.7%, compared to forecasts of a 0.3% growth and the previous reading's 0.5% drop.
The euro gave up a heavy 0.55% against the dollar to trade at 1.1233, while sliding 0.63% versus sterling to 0.7755. The common currency eased nearly one percent against the insurgent yen, nearing a two-week low at 128.28.
Britain's industrial production suffered simultaneously. dropping 1.1% m/m in December, the biggest such monthly drop since 2012, while manufacturing production fell for the third month in a row in December by 0.2%. Sterling trimmed earlier gains but was still up on the day, registering a profit of 0.11% against the dollar at 1.4489.
Crude oil prices tumbled on oversupply worries in the U.S., with inventories expected to increase again last week. Crude futures shed 40 cents, or 1.50% to trade at $27.54 a barrel, but on the other Brent crude futures held on to its gain, trading up 14 cents, or 0.46% at $30.48 a barrel.