Today's bombings of commuter trains in Spain's capital Madrid helped send the FTSE 100 index down 100.10 points to 4,445.20 by the close - the biggest one-day drop in almost a year.
Royal & Sun Alliance led the rout, shedding 16.25p to 88.75p as insurers across Europe got hammered by markets expecting payout costs to rise. R&SA earlier this morning fell after reporting losses linked to increased provisions for workers compensation payouts in the US. It was also hit by publication of the Treasury Select Committee report criticising the industry for its handling of endowments.
Friends Provident fell 8.5p to145.75p, Aviva fell 25.25p to 542p, Legal & General fell 4.5p to 97p.
British Airways dropped 24.5p to 284.5p after stating its costs will continue rising fast over the next year, while revenues will not grow as fast.
Just six stocks made gains in the index.
Associated British Foods added 7p to 617p after Deutsche Bank upgraded its recommendation on the stock.
BT Group added 1.5p to 181.5p after announcing it will start offering telephone calls through the internet for UK customers of US internet firm Yahoo!.
The FTSE 250 index fell 124.7 points to 6,176.9.
Lastminute.com fell 13.5p to 209p as analysts warned today’s bombings in Spain could hurt travel bookings.
Laird Group, maker of magnetic shields for mobile phones, gained 7.25p to 287.25p after reporting profits above the higher end of the range of expectations.
Indices across Europe fell between 2% to nearly 4% in the case of Germany’s Dax 30 index.
Shares started off trading down in the US earlier this afternoon when markets opened there, but have since rallied, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average index currently up about 5 points to 10,302.IFAonline
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