The FTSE 100 share index fell 65.8 points to 5,980.4 on Thursday (down 1.1 per cent).

Banks had mixed fortunes with HSBC down 1.1 per cent, Standard Chartered down 1.2 per cent. Alliance & Leicester and HBOS however added 1.4 and 2.0 per cent respectively.

Oil companies fell, despite record oil prices of over $115 a barrel. BP fell 0.4 per cent, Royal Dutch Shell was down 1.1 per cent and Cairn Energy dropped 2.6 per cent.

The story was the same for miners. BHP Billiton, ENRC, Kazakhmys and Lonmin all fell 2.3-5.1 per cent each.

Drug company AstraZeneca dropped 2.9 per cent.

Retail companies also saw their share values fall, with Kingfisher, Next and Tesco all down 3.2-3.9 per cent.

There were some winners however, drinks company SABMiller rose 5.3 per cent and International Power saw its value rise 2.9 per cent.