The FTSE 100 has joined other global markets in falling after German economic sentiment took an unexpected turn for the worse.
Tuesday’s session ended with the blue-chip index down 0.45 per cent to 6,556.35. Persimmon, ITV, TUI Travel, Standard Chartered and Burberry posted the largest falls of the day.
In addition, the Euro Stoxx 50 shed 0.71 per cent, while the German Dax was down 0.41 per cent and the French Cac 40 fell 0.71 per cent. In the US, the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell after opening.
The markets’ mood was soured when Germany’s headline ZEW index, which measures investors’ expectations for the German economy in six months’ time, showed a fall for the first time in three months. Economists had expected the indicator to rise.
Investors’ attention will now turn to the testimony of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to Congress later today, which will be analysed for any clues on the future direction of the central bank’s $85bn-a-month bond-buying programme.