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Euro and Footsie plummet

Fears over the eurozone tore further strips off the FTSE 100 Index today as investor confidence continues to crumble despite a bailout for Greece.

London market falls - which were dominated by financial firms and retailers - took the index below 5400 and came after declines in Asia and on Wall Street.

The Footsie fell nearly 1%, or 45.8 points to 5365.2, compounding the 2.6% slump yesterday and adding to a steep slide seen since last week.

The euro at 9am this morning was worth was 85.5p.

European markets have come under serious pressure as investor nerves continue to focus on the outlook for Greece and worries that the crisis could spread to other indebted nations like Portugal and Spain.

France's Cac 40 lost 1.2% in early trading, while the Dax in Germany slid 0.7%.

The euro has also plummeted to year lows against the US dollar amid concerns the 110 billion euro (£95 billion) Greek rescue from eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be enough.

In London financial shares were on the back foot amid the turbulence, with part-nationalised firms at the forefront of the losses. Lloyds Banking Group fell 2.73p to 58.51p, while Royal Bank of Scotland eased 1.86p to 48.89p.

Next was also a leading faller - down 91p at 2166p - despite saying it was on track to grow sales and profits this year.

The retailer said it remained "very cautious" about the trading outlook.

Meanwhile BP had a rare respite for its shares over the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Shares, which have plummeted in recent days, rose 3.7p to 562.2p.