European stocks were sharply lower on Friday, as investors digested a raft of central bank decisions and a new economic plan from the U.K.
The Stoxx 600 was down 2.8% in early afternoon trading, with all sectors and major bourses trading in the red.
Oil and gas stocks and basic resources were the biggest fallers, both down more than 4%.
Thursday’s market moves come after the U.K. government announced a raft of tax cuts as the country prepares for a recession. Sterling was down 1.8% against the dollar around midday to trade at $1.1048 following the news.
The Bank of England also hiked rates by 50 basis points Thursday — its seventh consecutive increase — and said it believed the U.K. economy was already in a recession.
Also Thursday, the Swiss National Bank hiked its benchmark rate to 0.5%, a shift that brings an end to an era of negative rates in Europe.
The U.S. Federal Reserve, meanwhile, hiked by another three-quarters of a percentage point Wednesday, and indicated that the hikes will keep on coming.