Banks, miners and energy stocks weighed on the FTSE 100 yesterday, dragging the market down 1% to close at 5,191. Leading the fall was Lloyds Banking Group, which shed 7.2% after news that it is to raise £12bn in equity. Not far behind was RBS, sliding 5.6%, while Barclays was 2.5% lower and HSBC lost 1.8%. Miners slipped as the dollar rose, and a weaker oil price pushed energy stocks lower. Defensive stocks were generally up, however - Cable & Wireless climbed 3.3%, British American Tobacco added 0.2% and Reckitt Benckiser rose 0.5%.
In Europe, the Paris CAC fell 64 points to 3,744; and the German Xetra Dax was 98 points lower at 5,642.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1% to 9,867; the S&P 500 closed down 1.2% at 1,066; and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.6% to 2,141.
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Overnight in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.5% to 10,212; while the broader Topix index lost 1.7% to 895. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed 2.8% lower at 3,021; and the CSI 300 index shed 2.9% to close at 3,314.
Brent spot was trading at $76.16 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $78.66. Spot gold was trading at $1,041 an ounce; silver was at $17.06 and platinum was at $1,330.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6387 and against the euro at 1.1007. The dollar was trading at 0.672 against the euro and 91.94 against the Japanese yen.
And today, the Government has said it wants to crack down on credit card lending. It has proposed that lenders should increase the minimum payment borrowers must make to 5%; that increasing customers' credit limits without their consent should be banned; and it wants an end to the practice of increasing the interest rate on existing debts. Kevin Brennan, the Consumer Minister, said: "The current relationship between card companies and consumers cannot go unchallenged. It is simply not fair."
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