London’s leading shares were today set for a fifth successive week of losses — their worst performance since the eurozone crisis triggered a summer of turmoil in markets in 2011.
Although buyers crept back into the market today after yesterday’s dramatic 3 per cent plunge — helping the FTSE 100 rise 19.71 points to 6179.22 — its present losing run is the biggest hammering investors have taken for two years. The last time the blue-chip benchmark lost ground for five weeks in a row was between May and June 2011 as concerns grew over a catastrophic default by Spain and Italy.
The volatility — which also hit shares in Asia overnight — has been triggered by fears US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke might call time on the era of easy money and rein in QE3 this year.
David Jones, chief market strategist at spread-betting firm IG, said: “Everybody has known we have had an artificially inflated market for a while but what surprises me is how unprepared the markets are. ECB president Mario Draghi calmed markets last summer when he said he would do whatever it takes to save the euro but with the Fed in the background we may see a summer more like 2011.”