Hopes for a rebound on the FTSE 100 after Wednesday’s shares rout have faded, after an initial rally petered out.
After opening higher by 1%, gains went into reverse, with the index now trading down by 1.3%, or 82 points, at 6,101.11.
In France, the CAC-40 dropped by 2% while Germany’s Dax fell by 1.6%.
London’s blue chip index saw its heaviest one-day fall in 16 months on Wednesday, dropping by 2.8%.
That marked its lowest point since July last year and wiped £46bn off shares.
The biggest loser for the second day in a row was drugs firm Shire, which lost 22% on Wednesday on the potential collapse of a £32bn takeover by US rival AbbVie. It was down by a further 9% on Thursday after the company confirmed it was no longer interested.
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