Ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned on Thursday that the euro zone crisis was entering a "stubborn phase of subdued growth" in what it says is a new stage in the region's economic crisis.
The warning comes as new data showed a deepening downturn in France's private sector economy during October.
Markit's Flash Composite Output Index (PMI) for France slipped to 48.0, from 48.4 in September. That was its lowest reading since February. A reading below 50 marks a contraction in private sector activity.
There was better news for the euro zone more broadly, however, as its composite PMI beat expectations, coming in at 52.2 in October, up from 52.0 in September. The reading was above all economist forecasts in a Reuters poll.