Shares in the UK’s top listed firms fell for a fourth consecutive day today as fears about Spain’s banking sector fuelled another grim session for world markets.
The FTSE 100 Index is now at its lowest level since November after falling 66.9 points to 5,338.4.
Markets in Germany and France were 1% lower, while Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.4% down as the London market closed.
Spain was forced to deny there had been a run on part-nationalised Bankia but the speculation did little for confidence in UK banks and a weaker-than-expected manufacturing survey in the US added to the gloom.
Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland were both down by 4%, by 7.2p to 181.9p and 0.8p to 21.1p, while Lloyds Banking Group dropped 1p to 27.7p.
Insurer Aviva shed 13.2p to 267.7p after a set of uninspiring sales figures highlighted the pressure that led to the ousting of boss Andrew Moss.
Heavily-weighted mining stocks littered the fallers board. Glencore International was one of the biggest losers, off 8.9p at 354.3p.
International Consolidated Airlines fell 9.2p to 143.5p, GKN shed 8.1p to 184.3p, and Hargreaves Lansdown was off 20.8p at 480.7p.
The biggest Footsie risers were Randgold Resources up £2.15 at £48.55, ICAP ahead 5.5p at £3.42, National Grid up 9.5p at £6.75 and Antofagasta 14p better off at £10.26.
In the FTSE 250 Index, broadband firm TalkTalk jumped 20%, or 26.3p to £1.59 after it reported better-than-expected results and pledged to increase its dividend by 15% over the next two financial years.
Brewer and pub operator Marston’s rose 3%, or 2.6p to 97p on the back of improved sales and profits.
Elsewhere, French Connection slumped 24% – off 9.5p to 30p – after another profits warning from the fashion chain. It said UK retail sales in the past 15 weeks were down by 12%, compared with a year ago.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Premier Oil 2.6% higher at 338.15p, EnQuest up 1% to 118.9p and SSE adding a further 0.8% to £13.39.
Wood Group fell 4.6% to £7.01, BG Group slipped 2.8% to 1233.5p and Faroe Petroleum lost 1.6% to £1.59.