Thursday 6 December 2018
UK shares have fallen sharply in morning trading, dragging the FTSE 100 index to its lowest level since December 2016.
Both London and major European markets were down more than 2% as a sell-off that started in Asia gathered pace.
Worst-hit sectors included miners, oil companies, carmakers and tech stocks.
Analysts said the arrest of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's chief financial officer in Canada had revived worries over US-China trade tensions.
By mid-morning, London's 100-share index was down 2.6% at 6,744 points, while the Cac-40 in Paris and Frankfurt's Dax were both 2.4% lower.
Among the biggest fallers in London were mining firms Antofagasta, down 5.8%, and Glencore, which fell 4.9%.
Earlier, Asian markets also sank, with Tokyo's Nikkei shedding 1.9% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong falling 2.5%.
"Investors are back in risk-off mode, with markets falling in the UK, mainland Europe and across Asia," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
"Markets are worried by numerous things: global economic growth, rising interest rates and the US-China trade war."
Oil prices also dived. Brent Crude was trading almost 5% lower, taking it below $59 a barrel.
Traders are watching for news from the meeting of Opec oil-producing nations in Vienna, with some member states keen to agree on a production cut to drive up prices.
"We're looking for a sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries," said Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Khalid al-Falih, before the meeting.
Source: BBC News