Stocks take another hammering

London's blue chip share index took another hammering today, capping a calamitous week that has seen nearly 10% wiped from its value.





The FTSE 100 Index fell 146.2 points, or 2.7%, to 5247 today amid continued panic that America will lead the global economy back into recession and the eurozone will be crushed under the weight of its debts.



London's top flight share index nearly moved into positive territory at one point after a key report showed 117,000 jobs were created in the US last month, an increase on the past two months.



But the bounce lasted less than an hour, as the index fell further into the red in a volatile day of trading amid rumours that the US could lose its cherished AAA credit rating. In America, the Dow Jones also lost nearly 1% of its value in early trading.



Another dire day of trading means the FTSE 100 Index has ended the week down 9.8%, which has slashed £147.9 billion from its value.



The top flight registered its biggest fall of the year yesterday - battering pensions and savings funds in the process - while New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 4.3% as Wall Street suffered its worst day for nearly three years.



The panic spread to Asia where Japan's Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 4% overnight.



There are rising fears that Italy and Spain, the eurozone's third and fourth largest economies, could default on their debt repayments and require EU-funded bailouts.



Worries are also mounting over the strength of the US economy following a raft of gloomy data, suggesting its recovery is running out of steam.



Louise Cooper, an analyst at BGC Partners, said traders are "starting to feel the fear".



She added: "The banking industry is yet again facing a crisis - we are not yet at the post-Lehman days, but the system is creaking loudly.



"The horrible reality is that those leaders in charge of our economy have no answers."



Investors have been switching their cash from risky assets, such as shares, to safe havens like gold, which recently hit fresh highs.



Royal Bank of Scotland saw its shares drop 7% after it published half-year results revealing a £794 million loss.



Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Government was "fully functioning" despite the Prime Minister, his deputy and the chancellor all being on holiday as stock markets plunge around the globe.



David Cameron spoke by telephone earlier today with Bank of England governor Mervyn King - who is also due to speak with Chancellor George Osborne later. Mr Hague is due to hold a meeting with senior officials from the Treasury, Downing Street and the Foreign Office.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThe ZX Spectrum is going back on sale - with all your favourite retro games
Sport
football
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
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: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk