European stock markets closed sharply lower on Friday, posting their biggest weekly loss since August 2011, as commodity prices continued to fall and and shares in oil-related firms came under renewed pressure from the weak price for crude.
Oil majors sink
The oil price continued to fall amid concerns about over-supply and slower-than-expected global growth. The price of U.S. crude oil fell below the $60 mark, while Brent crude hit a five-and-a-half-year low in Asian trading on Friday.
The broad STOXX Europe 600 has lost 5.2 percent during the week, representing a wipe-out in market capitalization of around $468 billion, according to Reuters.
U.S. stocks declined on Friday, with benchmark indexes headed for sizable weekly losses, as crude's slide continued and after Chinese industrial production came in below expectations.
Mixed economic data for November from China, where industrial production fell below expectations and retail sales data was slightly higher than expected, also caused concerns about global growth.
European mining stocks, which have heavy exposure to the world's second-largest economy, fell around 3 percent.
Ukraine has also been in focus this week after the International Monetary Fund revealed the civil war-torn country needed an additional $15 billion in funding on top of the $17 billion already agreed by the IMF.
The take-up of the ECB's latest cheap money program, known as TLTROs, met expectations on Thursday, but was still disappointing compared to earlier expectations. The results have left investors contemplating if - or when - the ECB will announce a full scale quantitative easing (QE) program.
On the data front, a final reading of Spanish inflation data confirmed a precious estimate of -0.1 percent in November, compared to the month before. Industrial production figures for the euro zone posted a rise in October, compared to the month before, but narrowly managed to miss analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll.
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