Shares tumble as US anxiety grows
Blue-chip shares took another tumble as fears over a reduction in US stimulus pulled the top-flight below the 6400 mark for the first time since the start of July.
It marks the latest episode in a topsy-turvy summer which saw the market rise on indications from London and Europe that central bank support was here to stay before sentiment was gnawed away by anxiety over the stance of the US Federal Reserve.
The FTSE 100 Index was down 62.6 points, or nearly 1%, to 6390.8 while the New York's Dow Jones Industrial Average was well into negative territory in early trading. On the currency markets the pound was little changed against the greenback at 1.57 US dollars but was up one cent against the single currency at 1.17 euros following comments by the German finance minister that Greece may need another bail-out.
The FTSE's fall below 6400 comes after it had climbed above the marker early in July following hints from the Bank of England that interest rates would remain low for some time to come.
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But August has so far been an altogether different story, with details of Mark Carney's forward guidance on rates disappointing the City and growing "taper" talk over the likely actions of America's policymakers amid improving US economic data.