Britain's manufacturing production for October fell unexpectedly by 0.4% m\m, against forecasts of no-change, and compared with September's 0.9% growth. In other negative news for Britain, Halifax house price index fell 0.2% m\m in November, compared with October's 1.0% rise. Sterling slumped 0.52% against the dollar to 1.4977, marking the third consecutive session of decline. It hit a six-week low against the euro at 0.7275, with a near 1.0% loss. Sterling touched a seven-week trough against the yen, losing 1.03% to 183.86.
Oil prices extended their heavy losses, tumbling to new seven-year lows, with Brent futures sliding 80 cents, or 2.0% to $39.93 a barrel. U.S. crude futures plunged a dollar, or 2.60% to $36.68 a barrel.
The fall in oil prices led the Canadian dollar to a fresh eleven and a half years low, since a big chunk of Canada's economy depends on oil exports; the loonie fell 0.82% to C$1.3613. Other commodity currencies were badly hit, especially after China' data showed a contraction in trade activity, with the Australian dollar hitting a week-low to $0.7192, losing 1.04% for the day.
Euro regained some of its strength after data showed the Eurozone growing by an annualized 1.6% in third quarter, and 0.3% q\q. Euro's index, which measures the common currency's performance against a basket of major currencies, rose 0.54% to 87.82. Euro advanced 0.54% against the dollar to 1.0893, while inching up 0.04% against the yen to 133.74.
The oil rout led European shares to a six-week trough; with the pan-European index FTSEurofirst 300 diving 1.66% to 1,439. Germany's DAX lost 183 points, or 1.69% to 10,702. France's CAC 40 plunged 80 points, or 1.69% to 4,676. Britain's FTSE 100 gave up 86 points, or 1.39% to 6,137.
Wall Street opened sharply down, with energy shares leading the decline. Dow Jones lost 200 points, or 1.11% to 17,533. NASDAQ squandered 55 points, or 1.09% to 5,046. S&P 500 fell 22 points, or 1.11% to 2,054.