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Banks drag FTSE below 4,000

The FTSE 100 has fallen below 4,000 as fresh fears over toxic assets spark a sell-off in the banking sector.

The index opened higher at 4,003 after closing at 3,994 in Monday’s session with mining stocks regaining previous losses.

By 9.05am, the index was 0.72 per cent up to 4,023 but by 11.29am, it was 1.6 per cent down to 3,931 with financials dragging on performance after the International Monetary Fund predicted toxic debts held by institutions could reach £2,700bn, up from previous forecasts.

Banking stocks failed to hold onto previous gains with Barclays down 5.8 per cent to 162.60p, Lloyds Banking Group down 7.2 per cent to 74p and Royal Bank of Scotland down 6.7 per cent to 27.80p.

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