The European and US stock markets have dropped to their lowest levels in six weeks as a result of disappointing European Union data and the unknown status of the stimulus programme being prepared by the US Federal Reserve.
However, the UK service sector did perform well but it was not enough to stop the FTSE 100 from falling.
The index of blue chip shares closed down over two per cent, with similar falls happening in France and Germany as well.
Global stock markets have been keeping a close eye on the bond buying programme being implemented by the US central bank. It is largely expected it will slow down the initiative but there have currently been no clear signs of its intent to do so.
It is currently buying $85 billion of bonds each month and has stated in the past that it will continue to do so until the US unemployment rate falls back in line with previous figures.
By Tony Aynsley