European stocks opened lower on Wednesday amid worries that the UK's economic growth is set to remain weak and as investors fretted over large oil producers' decision to extend production cuts in the next few months.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said on Tuesday the economy will record a 0.4 percent growth in 2023. Although the prediction was an improvement on the earlier calculation of 0.3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth, the BCC said the economy will encounter situations much similar to the pain of 2008 financial crash.
"The fact is, that with growth predicted to hover so close to zero for three years, it will still feel a lot like one for most people and businesses..." said Vicky Pryce of BCC's Economic Advisory Council.
"The BCC's latest forecast shows the UK economy is continuing to teeter on the edge of a recession ...But the fact is, that with growth predicted to hover so close to zero for three years, it will still feel a lot like one for most people and businesses," Price added.
Brent Crude Goes Past $90
In its latest assessment, the Bank of England said the British economy could grow 0.5 percent over 2023 and 2024.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Russia said the production cuts imposed by the two large producers will extend into December. While Saudi Arabia will extend its production cut of 1 million barrels per day until the end of December, Russia said it will reduce oil exports by 300,000 barrels per day.
The extended production cuts boosted the Brent crude futures, which rose to $90.04 a barrel, marking the first closing above $90 since November last year. The West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose to $86.87 a barrel, which is a 10-month high.
Germany Data and Eurozone Retails Sales Numbers
While FTSE 100 in the UK dropped 0.9 percent, the DAX index in Germany was down 0.3 percent and France's CAC 40 was down 0.8 percent.
Adding to the market gloom, fresh data released on Wednesday showed that the German factory orders plunged 11.7 percent in July.
Also, impending release of data on Eurozone retail sales also depressed the markets. According to expectations, retail sales in the Eurozone as a whole were weaker in July.