The FTSE 100 crashed below 6,000 points this morning as investors fled from risky assets in the run up to the EU referendum.
The benchmark London index sank 1.3 per cent in the first 90 minutes of trading to stand at 5,967, below the key 6,000 barrier last breached in February. Already at a three-month low, this takes the FTSE 100 even deeper into its disappointing run, having dropped five per cent since last Wednesday alone.
Banks and miners led the index lower, though few companies were exempt from the sell-off, as traders rushed into safe havens such as government debt with just nine days to go until the Brexit vote.
Anglo American was down by 2.9 per cent in the first hour of trading, while Barclays, BT, Glencore and BHP Billiton also shed more than 1.5 per cent. A good set of results for Ashtead, however, put them at the top of the leaderboard as shares climbed 1.8 per cent.
[stockChart code="UKX" date="2016-06-14 10:10"]
Sterling also sank to a two-month low in the first minutes of London trading off the back of another friendly opinion poll for the Leave side which clearly spooked the financial markets.
Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG, said: "Panic appears to be gripping markets as the headlines fill up with references to a possible Brexit, with the Sun’s declaration for Brexit emblematic of the worry that the Remain campaign has lost a crucial segment of the population. At times like this, the phrase ‘sea of red’ has never seemed more appropriate."