The FTSE 100 index of leading shares has fallen below 6,000 for the first time in over six weeks this afternoon after continuing problems among UK banks.
The index had broadly remained above the 6,000 level until the beginning of 2008, when ongoing fears over the credit crunch and economy did serious damage to share prices.
More recently, the index began to recover but a bleak outlook for the housing market and a series of rights issues by UK banks have damaged the sector.
Today’s announcement of a rights issue by Bradford & Bingley, coupled with its chief executive’s resignation, have cause its FTSE 250 shares to be suspended this morning, after falling 16%.
Shares in HBOS and Alliance & Leicester, both listed on the FTSE 100, have fallen considerably in early trading, while Barclays, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Standard Chartered have also seen dents in their share prices.
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