FTSE dives into the red

London's FTSE 100 Index tumbled into the red today as fears over a mounting eurozone debt crisis sent stock markets and the euro plunging.

The focus moved to Portugal as reports suggested its partners in the European Union were urging the country to seek a bail-out.



Spain and Ireland also saw government bond yields - an important indicator of confidence - spike amid a sell-off by anxious investors.



Stock markets across Europe dived as concerns of debt contagion hit sentiment.



The Footsie dropped nearly 100 points, or 1.7%, while Germany's DAX fell 1.1% and the CAC-40 in France was 1.6% lower.



The euro meanwhile dropped against most major currencies, including the pound, dollar and yen.



















Markets and the euro have been under pressure since last week, when Ireland's debt crisis once again came under the spotlight.

The FTSE 100 Index lost 4% over a week and then made some gains before suffering fresh losses today.



Banks led the retreat on bank exposure worries, with part-nationalised Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland losing nearly 5% and 4% respectively. Barclays dropped nearly 4% and HSBC lost 2%.



The Portuguese parliament is voting later on billions of euros of proposed austerity measures. Analysts believe it will be the next in line for a bailout.



It was reported some eurozone countries and the European Central Bank are putting pressure on the country to ask for financial assistance, but the Portuguese government has rejected these claims.



In Ireland, the Government is negotiating with the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a rescue package expected to amount to 85 billion euros (£72 billion).



It will be the second eurozone economy to be rescued after Greece was granted a 110 billion-euro bailout over the summer.



Kathleen Brooks, research director with foreign exchange service Forex, said it was unclear where the crisis would spread.



She said: "Whereas the Greek crisis and the start of the Irish crisis were concerned with individual sovereigns and their problems, the current chapter of Europe's sovereign woes has turned into a periphery-wide issue where no one is safe."



As if Europe's debt crisis was not enough, tensions on the Korean peninsula ratcheted up again after fresh artillery fire was heard hours after North Korea warned it was on the brink of war.



The current bout of unease started on Tuesday when four South Koreans were killed after North Korea unleashed a brief hail of artillery against the small South Korean island of Yeonpyeong.



The safe-bet dollar strengthened as the crisis re-emerged, which put pressure on commodity prices and saw mining companies retreat, with Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources topping the FTSE 100 fallers board.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
Fifa corruption: Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

Strip Qatar of the World Cup? Not likely

But if a real smoking gun is found, that might change things, says Tom Peck
Twenty two years later Jurassic Park series faces questions over accuracy of the fictional dinosaurs in it

Tyrannosaurus wrecked?

Twenty two years on, Jurassic Park faces questions over accuracy
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
Genes greatly influence when and how many babies a woman will have, study finds

Mother’s genes play key role in decision to start a family

Study's findings suggest that human fertility is still evolving
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)