The FTSE 100 continued its seemingly inexorable dive toward 4,000 on Thursday as glum sales figures for Argos and Home Retail piled further agony on the retail sector.
Shortly after opening, London's blue-chip index had already slipped more than 30 points, or 0.7%, to sink to 4,150. This time yesterday, the FTSE was scaling 4,400.
Home Retail lost more than 9% to 187.30 after like-for-like sales at its Argos and Homebase brands fell 7.5% and 10.2% respectively in the 18 weeks to January.
Adding to the negativity, FTSE 250 constituent DSG International, which owns Currys and PC World, reported like-for-like sales dropped 10% in the three months to 10 January.
The mining sector is also struggling, with Vedanta Resources 3.85% behind and Kazakhmys 3.4% down.
However, Standard Chartered has brought a little cheer to the banking sector following yesterday's carnage, advancing nearly 3% to 766.50.
The sharp overnight tumble in Asia has also dented market confidence, with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Stock Average diving 4.4% to 8,068.03 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 5.4%.
On Wall St, the Dow ended Wednesday 2.94% lower to sit just above 8,200, while the broader S&P 500 lost 3.35% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged 3.67%.IFAonline
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