- Global equities suffered a sell-off following disappointing European earnings, the rejection of Italy's budget by the EU and trade war concerns after US machinery manufacturer Caterpillar warned on its impact.

The upcoming US midterms and geopolitical tensions with Saudi Arabia are also contributing to the negative sentiment.

The FTSE 100 fell 1.4% to 6,943 with miners and oil majors among the biggest hit.

There was a sea of red in Europe with Germany's Dax shedding the most, down 2.4% at 11,428.

On Wall Street, all indices struggled, but the tec-heavy Nasdaq endured the largest fall, declining 2.4% to 7,289 at around 4pm UK time.


Whitbread shed 2% to £43.74 as it booked a flat first-half profit and warned growth at its Premier Inn hotel chain would be constrained by investment spending and weak consumer confidence.

Broking house Plus500 rose 6.2% to £13.26, after it said it expected trading in 2018 to be ahead of expectations, despite revenue falling in the third quarter due to regulatory changes.

Wealth manager St. James's Place slumped 4.5% to 988.2p despite reporting an 11% rise in its funds under management underpinned by higher net inflows.

Builders' merchant and DIY retailer Travis Perkins gained 3.3% to £10.12, as it grew third quarter revenue by 3.9% and said it was comfortable with market expectations for the full year.

Distribution and outsourcing company Bunzl said third-quarter revenue rose 7%, boosted by acquisitions and asset sales. Its shares ticked up 0.8% to £22.03.

Retail property group Intu fell 2.6% to 196.35p after it cut its rental income guidance, blaming 'tenant failures' owing to a difficult UK trading environment.


Shares in marketing service specialist Communisis soared 39% to 70.6p after the company agreed a takeover bid from OSG Group.

Book merchant Bloomsbury Publishing fell 2.5% to 195p despite reporting improved first-half underlying profits, amid a strong performance from academic titles, and inking a new supply contract with the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

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