The FTSE 100 has fallen 2.8 per cent this week as concerns over the eurozone and the US fiscal cliff continue to raise investor caution.
At close on Friday, the blue chip index was down 1.3 per cent lower to stand at 5605.59, its lowest closing level since July.
The falls come in a week when the eurozone entered a double-dip recession after recording two quarters of negative growth figures. Many southern European countries were also hit by strikes this week which were coordinated by unions to protest against the austerity measures implemented by governments to reduce debt. There was a general strike in Spain in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and construction industries. Flights were delayed around the continent due to transportation strikes.
Melrose was the biggest faller in the FTSE 100 on Friday with its shares down 11.5 per cent after saying the sales outlook for 2013 was uncertain as revenue trends slowed. The company, which specialises in buying failing companies in the sector in order to improve performance, admitted it was not immune to what it called “worsening economic conditions”.
The French Cac 40 and the German Dax were down 1.2 and 1.3 per cent, respectively, at close on Friday, while the FTSEurofirst 300 was down 1 per cent.