Insurers led the FTSE 100 index down 190.10 points today to 4,230 after global stock markets made fu...
Insurers led the FTSE 100 index down 190.10 points today to 4,230 after global stock markets made further losses on renewed fears over corporate earnings and questions over the quality of corporate accounts.
Aviva and Royal & Sun Alliance were the biggest UK blue-chip losers after investment bank analysts told clients to sell shares because of solvency issues.
Falling share prices have put extreme pressure on Europe's biggest insurers too, with big falls in the share prices of Munich Re, Zurich Financial, Axa and Alliance.
Aviva fell 49p to 413p, while R&SA fell 20p to 212.75p.
Only two stocks made gains today: SABMiller, which gained 3.5p to 507p after it cancelled plans to issue new stock, and Gallaher rose 6p to 615p after a 'buy' note from Deutsche Bank.
Mid-cap stocks did not do any better, the FTSE 250 index shedding 176.2 points to 5,065.1 led down by melting technology stock Autonomy, which lost 84.5p to 120.5p after the software maker said second quarter sales slipped.
Only seven FTSE 250 stocks made gains, including Railtrack, which put on 0.5p to 225.5p after it said it had warned of "rough" tracks in the Potters Bar area the night before the fatal crash that left seven people dead and shredded the reputation of rail engineering contractor Jarvis - the latter's shares were down 7.5p to 269.5p.
Controls equipment company Spectris continued its run of form this week by adding another 14p to 385p taking it further from its near 9-month low set last week.
In New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is trading down 172 points at 8,641.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index is down 12 points at 1,334.
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