Unless the index recovers today is set to be the largest one day fall of the FTSE since 2008, over the last two weeks more than £160billion has been torn off the value of UK stock markets.
And the Dow Jones finished down 3.6 per cent after earlier dropping more than 1,000 points – or almost 7 per cent of its value.
The drop in the FTSE affects the worth of pension pots, and British savers and investors have been told to brace themselves for further losses.
Today’s mayhem followed China’s worst day of trading since 2007, where the country’s main indexes dropped by a staggering eight per cent.
The re-emergence of a crisis in Greece has spooked investors, with the troubled country now promising fresh volatility as it heads for early elections in September.
Elections in Spain and Portugal are also weighing on the mind’s of investors.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: “We have a recipe for a big cocktail of uncertainty.
“As we embark on the final full week of August the prospect of further large scale volatility seems almost inevitable as investors look towards Chinese markets in particular for further clues to market direction…
“Against this backdrop it would take an investor with nerves of steel to contemplate dipping back into the market at this point.”
Today’s FTSE 100 fall has been the largets since 2008
Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The Footsie has been decimated in ten trading days, as fears over global growth have gripped international markets.
“China and commodities are still dominating proceedings, with mining companies once again bearing the brunt of poor sentiment.
“Pension funds and private investors alike will be licking their wounds, and wondering when the sell-off is going to come to an end.
“This is undoubtedly an uncomfortable period for investors, but it’s at times like these that it pays to keep your head.
“However bleak things may seem today there are reasons to be positive.
“A lower oil price will boost household budgets in the UK, Europe and the US, which should feed through into spending.
“And as long as lower petrol prices are keeping inflation down, central banks are unlikely to raise interest rates, so mortgage payments are likely to remain low for some time yet.
“Stock market corrections, like the one we are witnessing, present investors with an opportunity to put new money to work in the market at lower prices. No-one knows when this bout of angst will end, and stock prices may yet have further to fall.
“But when the market as a whole is fearful, it’s usually a good time to top up your holdings.”