END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares tumbled today as investors grew concerned over slowing Chinese growth and political uncertainties in France and Holland, with the main index suffering triple-digit losses.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 106.58 points at 5,665.57 with the FTSE250 off 263.23 points at 11,181.62 and the FTSE Smallcaps 32.01 points lower at 3,087.47.
US stocks were sharply lower in late morning trade, with investors concerned over the political uncertainty in Europe after reports the Dutch Prime Minister has resigned.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 142 at 12,887, the S&P500 lost 16 at 1,363 and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 43 points at 2,957.
News of continued slowing in China manufacturing drove metals prices lower today, while political uncertainty in France and Holland and an unexpected fall in French business confidence kept the Eurozone firmly in focus.
The miners showed heavy losses, with Vedanta Resources the runt of the litter, down 70p at 1,167p. Rio Tinto slumped 171p at 3,376p and Anglo American lost 55p at 2,294p.
A fall in crude prices kept pressure on the oil majors, with Shell down 23p at 2,179.5p and BP off 5.15p at 429.7p.
The ongoing uncertainty in the Eurozone kept the bankers on the back foot, with Barclays slipping 9p at 204.55p, Lloyds 0.71p lower at 29.39p and Royal Bank of Scotland off 0.89p at 23.13p.
Insurers following the trend, with Prudential retreating 37p at 725.5p, Aviva down 6.4p at 299.1p and Legal & General 2.3p lower at 116.3p.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca dropped 55.5p at 2,811.5p following news it has acquired US biotech firm Ardea Biosciences for $1bn, a 58% premium.
Retailers were on offer following reports of record falls in UK consumers' disposable incomes, with supermarket giant Tesco dropping 2.55p at 319.3p, Morrisons off 4.9p at 290.1p and Sainsbury down 5.2p at 307.8p.
Frock shop chain Next slid 33p at 2,999p, while Primark owner AB Foods dropped 10p at 1,215p ahead on interim results tomorrow.
Rolls-Royce was down 16.5p at 815.5p, despite the power systems maker announcing it has signed a new $598m contract with the US Department of Defense.
International Power inched down 0.3p at 417p after announcing it will expand its Tihama power sites in Saudi Arabia following an award from Saudi Aramco.
Airline group IAG slid 7.87p at 162.6p after CEO Willie Walsh admitted it would be difficult to sell the loss-making subsidiaries it inherited through the BA acquisition of bmi, including the non-frills operator bmibaby.
Vodafone Europe and Cable & Wireless Worldwide announced today they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer of 39p per CWW share. Vodafone shares edged down 0.1p at 171.4p on the news, while CWW shares added 3.9p at 35.9p.
There were only two blue chips to record gains today.
Engineer Smiths Group added 4p at 1,052p, while satellite broadcaster BSkyB topped the leaderboard, ahead 4.5p at 679p after weekend reports that Al Jazeera may be unlikely to bid the rights to Premier League football.
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