European markets opened lower Thursday following earlier sell-offs across Asia, while new figures showed that the German economy — Europe’s biggest — has slipped into recession in the third quarter.
Shares in London, Paris and Frankfurt were all slightly down between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in early morning trading.
Earlier Thursday, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office said that economic output contracted by 0.5 percent in the July-September period compared with the previous quarter.
That followed a 0.4 percent decline in gross domestic product in the second quarter — the first decline since late 2004.
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The picture was equally gloomy in the UK as telecoms giant BT announced it was cutting around 10,000 jobs, mainly among agency workers and sub-contractors, The British Press Association said.
The news came as the unemployment rate in the UK reached an 11-year high of 1.82 million, according to official figures released Wednesday.
Meanwhile, stocks in Asia slipped deeper into negative territory as investors came to terms with the likelihood that a long and deep recession is on the horizon.
“The concern is that the economy will turn out worse than the current forecast (and) the recession will be longer and more severe,” said Hugh Johnson, chief strategist at ThomasLloyd Global Asset Management in New York.