Europe’s turmoil batters London shares

Independent – The FTSE 100 Index tumbled more than 200 points today after a weekend of financial turmoil in Europe.

Investors took scant comfort from Friday’s backing of a US financial rescue to leave the FTSE 100 Index down almost 5 per cent or 240.5 points at 4739.

Banks were under pressure after German mortgage lender Hypo Real Estate became the latest to receive state aid.

Analysts said the impact of the latest crisis crossed all sectors amid fears of slowing demand.

Halifax Bank of Scotland – soon to merge with Lloyds TSB – plunged 15 per cent in the sell-off, while Royal Bank of Scotland suffered a 10 per cent drop.

The market was also hit hard by hefty falls from heavily-weighted mining stocks after experts warned that the sector’s earnings could almost halve this year.

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