Earnings woes on Wall Street meant US indices got off to a bad start this afternoon, compounding the...
Earnings woes on Wall Street meant US indices got off to a bad start this afternoon, compounding the downward drift due to UK financial stocks and helping push the FTSE down by 112 points to close at 4,006.90.
A warning from credit reference agency Standard & Poor's that it was considering downgrading UK insurers helped Royal & Sun Alliance shed 12.75p to 103p, Friends Provident shed 11p to 122.5p, and Aviva shed 39.5p to 454.5p.
Amvescap shed 31p to 330.5p after analysts forecast a huge 60% drop in third quarter earnings.
The fall in financial stocks also hit Reuters, a major provider of financial data and news services, which lost 14.25p to 171.75p.
Investors instead piled into construction and property stocks, with Canary Wharf leading the way with a 20p rise to 382p.
British Land gained 12.5p to 461.5p, and Land Securities jumped 8p to 773p.
Mid-cap stocks also fell, and the FTSE 250 shed 21.6 points to 4,391.8 as earnings fears hit stocks such as Stagecoach and Aberdeen Asset Management.
Further legal pressure on the split capital investment trust issue meant investors continued to pull out of the latter, sending AAM shares down 9.5p to another record low of 31.5p - the company is now worth just £55m.
Problems with its US operations is costing Stagecoach dear, and its shares shed 10.75p to 13.75p today.
However, technology was a winner in the form of Dimension Data, which surged 4p, or 20% to 24p after Old Mutual said it owned a fifth of the company.
Markets across Europe had a bad day, and in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is currently down 133 points at 8,316.
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