The FTSE 100 index is firmly below the 4,000 level having lost some 50 points to 3,945 this morning ...
The FTSE 100 index is firmly below the 4,000 level having lost some 50 points to 3,945 this morning on continued angst caused by yesterday's manufacturing output figures and US services output figures.
Leading the losers is WPP, which suffered a downgrade by analysts at Schroder Salomon Smith Barney; its shares dropped 29.5p to 400.5p.
House price bubble fears have forced HBOS down 29.5p to 657p as analysts continue to ponder whether the country's biggest lender will suffer most if the housing market does turn south at the same time its banking operations are forced to put aside more money to cover bad debts.
Pearson shares are off 22p to 541.5p because of the same issues affecting WPP: fears that an economic downturn will result in even less advertising than at present.
BAe is down 11.25p to 283.75p on news that Austria's government is facing a backlash on its decision to buy new Eurofighter aircraft - part built by the UK company.
Corus has, however, managed to bounce back from yesterday's fall on a note from Goldman Sachs, which upgrades the stock to the broker's 'recommended' list - shares are up 2.5p to 48p
International Power has also bounced back from yesterday's fall, gaining 4.5p to 115.5p.
BAT is up 24p to 736.5p, Imperial Tobacco is up 29p to £10.35 and Gallaher is up 11p to 642p after yesterday's news that California has given immunity to tobacco companies being sued for events that took place before 1998.
The FTSE 250 mid-caps index is also down today, off by 59 points to 4,530, and also led down by a media stock.
Cordiant Communications is due to report interim results on 6 September, but today its shares are off by 6p to 63p.
Woolworths has been cut to a 'hold' from a 'speculative buy' at broker Peel Hunt this morning, but that has not stopped shares from climbing 2p to 25p to make it the top mid-cap gainer.
Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Average index lost 269.50 points to close at 8,043.63 as the Nasdaq Composite lost 41.91 points to close at 1,206.01.
Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index shed 203.91 points this morning to 9,501.02, a more than 2% decline.
Unlike the FTSE, the CAC 40 and DAX indices in Paris and Frankfurt respectively are up this morning, but another turn for the worse in US markets later today could erase those gains and push the FTSE down further still.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till