Disappointing US jobless data coupled with meltdown fears in Greece and Portugal as well as poor figures from Shell, hammered share prices in London today.
The FTSE plummeted 2.17% to close down at 5,139.31.
Claimant figures in the US sparked the late afternoon sell-off. Jobless claims hit 480,000 last week, according to figures from the US Labor Department, the highest since 12 December and worse than expected.
The news smashed a London market already under pressure from the weakness of banks and miners, with dollar strength punishing metals prices leading mining share investors heading for the exits.
Antofagasta, down 7.3% to 830.00p a share, ENRC, down 7.14% to 885.00p a share, and Xstrata, down 5.96% to 1002.00p a share were the worst hit.
Crude prices slumped by over $3.5 a barrel on the concerns over the jobs figures, with gold, silver and a host of soft commodities also under pressure.
Banks are sharply lower after global banking giant Santander increased 2009 provisions for bad loans by 44% to €9.48bn. At close, Lloyds was down 6.82% to 51.25p per share, RBS fell 5.79% to 33.33p a share, and Barclays was down 7.84% to 272.2p a share.
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