European stocks fell again Thursday as the regions' leaders made their final preparations for a crucial "make or break" summit in Brussels.

The gathering takes place against a sombre backdrop around the broader economy, where polls released today showed dip in consumer, business and economic expectations around the Eurozone and a study from an influential Italian labour lobby group described the shrinking Italian economy as "in the abyss".

Here in the UK, figures from the Office for National Statistics confirmed Britain's first "double-dip" recession since the 1970s is even stepper than first imagined. First quarter GDP was left unchanged at 0.3 percent but the tally of contraction for the final three months of last year was revised lower to 0.4 percent, suggesting persistent weakness in an economy seemingly bereft of bank lending and consumer confidence.

Elsewhere, Italy's borrowing costs surged again this morning to a 2012 high after 5-year and 10-year bond sales worth around €5.42bn. The 10-year bonds priced to yield 6.19 percent (up from 6.03 percent in May) while the 5-year portion priced to yield 5.84 percent (from 5.66 percent in May). Both are the highest effective borrowing rates at auction since December of last year.

Written & Presented by Martin Baccardax