Footsie wobbles after Asia falls

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The Independent Online

The FTSE 100 Index gave back early gains today as recession fears continued to drag on stocks.

The Footsie had started on the front foot despite heavy overnight falls for markets in Asia and the United States.

But London's top flight index slumped 77 points into the red, to 3963.9, by mid-session trading as heavily weighted miners lost further ground on fears of weaker demand.

Concerns over the worldwide economy had earlier caused the Nikkei to fall by more than 2 per cent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to lose almost 6 per cent of its value.

The FTSE 100 has already suffered badly this week as recession worries have come to the fore, shedding more than 4 per cent yesterday.

Miners Antofagasta and Rio Tinto were among today's biggest fallers, off 31.5p at 257p and 226p at 2163p respectively.

Insurers Standard Life and Norwich Union parent Aviva were also on the fallers board after HSBC downgrades, which also marked Prudential lower.

Standard Life lost 13.45p to 196.3p, down 6 per cent, Aviva moved 14p lower to 152p and Pru was off 2.75p at 330.25p.

Banks were in positive territory after seeing losses in yesterday's sell-off. Lloyds TSB was 3.5p higher at 171p.

There was also a modest bounce back for BSkyB after shares hit a 10-year low yesterday on fears that customers will cut back on pay-TV spending. The satellite broadcaster was up 4p to 360.5p.

In the FTSE 250, Currys parent DSG International soared 11 per cent, up 2.75p at 26.25p as interim figures came in better than expected, in spite of a 7 per cent drop in half-year like-for-like sales.

Transport firms were high up the risers board after FTSE 250 Index listed Go-Ahead said demand remained robust, offsetting fears over the impact of the economic downturn. Go-Ahead rose 3p to 1536p.