Trading in London remained weak as noon approached, with the FTSE100 down 154.4 points (3.98%) to 3,728.96 as economic predictions paint an increasingly gloomy picture.
Analysts and commentators are suggesting the coming, global recession will be far worse than any experienced in recent history, and could be the toughest economic period since the Great Depression.
Sterling has also been battered this morning, losing more ground to $1.54. The UK currency is at a record low against the Euro.
Financial and commodities firms led the falls as Aviva shares slumped 12.03% to 217.5p, Legal & General dropped 9.72% to 64.1p and Rio Tinto fell 9.66% to £20.57. Doubt over HSBC’s capital position has dented the banking giant – its solid loss in Hong Kong has triggered a steep fall in London, down 8.69%.
On the continent, Paris’ CAC 40 is 5.71% lower and Frankfurt’s Dax is down 3.52%.
In Asia, the Nikkei hit its lowest level since 1982, diving 6.36% to 7,162.90, as Asia panicked on the fallout from the credit crisis. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plummeted more than 12% to 11,082.26.
On Friday, after a steep early slide the Dow Jones recovered somewhat to close the week 312.30 points lower, or 3.59%, to 8378.95.
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