Another plunge in mining shares has dragged the FTSE 100 back below the 6,000 mark as commodity prices renew their falls.
The UK’s blue chip index was 2.2 per cent lower at 5,973 in late-morning trading, with Glencore the heaviest faller. The commodity trader fell as much as 10 per cent to a fresh record low, with the wider mining sector also under pressure.
Antofagasta and Anglo American each fell more than 6 per cent, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto fell by more than 4 per cent apiece.
Commodity prices also dropped, with copper falling 1.9 per cent and Brent crude oil dipping 1.5 per cent to $48.2 a barrel.
The downbeat mood extended to other sectors, with just two FTSE 100 stocks - RSA and Sainsbury, up 1.4 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively - in the black.
Indices fell by similar amounts on the continent, but it was carmakers, not miners, which led markets down.
Volkswagen fell by 18 per cent, mirroring Monday’s fall, after the manufacturer set aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn) to cover the repercussions of its acknowledgement that it fixed US emissions tests. Other auto stocks also dropped sharply on fears that probes in the US and other countries may unearth other culprits.
Those falls pushed Germany’s Dax to a 2.7 per cent loss in morning trading. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was also down 2.7 per cent.