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FTSE 100 slumps to 4-year low

The FTSE 100 index has fallen 7.85 per cent today, closing at 4,589, a low last seen in September 2004.

Share falls were led by ailing mortgage lender HBOS which fell over 16 per cent since open of trade to 169p with Lloyds TSB also down 9.3 per cent to 263p and Royal Bank of Scotland down 17.5 per cent to 154p per share.

Markets slid across the globe with heavy sell offs as concerns heightened over governmental rescue plans needed to ease the spread of financial contagion.

In the UK, Chancellor Alistair Darling is under increased pressure to implement a tax payer-funded recapitalisation of Britain’s banks as support grows for an effective part-nationalisation of the sector.

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“Why the long face?” I asked the managing director of Huxley Epsilon, the self-proclaimed future of financial advice, as I walked into his office. “I mean, of course, beyond the obvious horridness of world markets and the general uncertainty of whether every major bank we’ve ever heard of is, on a day-by-day basis, going to stick, nationalise or fold.”

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