European stock markets sunk into negative territory on Tuesday as concerns over the global economic recovery and an unnerving update on Japan's radiation crisis hit investor sentiment.
All the major European indices were down on Tuesday afternoon, with London's FTSE more than 1% lower, France's Cac 40 down 1.4% and Germany's Dax 1.3% lower.
Earlier today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its GDP forecasts for the UK, US and Japan, reigniting fears of a slowdown in global growth.
Continuing to weigh on sentiment was the decision by Japanese authorities to raise the severity level of the incident at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant to 7 - the highest since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
In London, the FTSE 100 slipped beneath 6,000 to 5,985 with miners faring particularly badly amid a metals sell off.
Kazakhmys is the day's biggest loser, down over 4%, with Eurasian Natural Resources, Anglo American and Antofagasta all more than 3% in the red.
Propping up the index is International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, which benefited from lower oil prices.
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