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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FTSE 100 Plummets to a Seven-Year Low

LONDON -- Increasing nervousness over a war in Iraq triggered a broad British stock market sell-off Monday, sending the FTSE 100 to a low not seen since September 1995 as investors worried an attack would hinder economic recovery.

Insurers were hard hit amid fears of insolvency, with Royal & Sun Alliance down 6 percent and Aviva down 5 percent.

"People are sitting, hugging benchmarks and waiting for something to happen, it's all defensive," said Matthew Wickens, a global economist at ABN AMRO.

By late morning, the FTSE 100 was down 134.9 points, or 3.7 percent, at 3,468.7 and was on course to post a loss for an unprecedented 11 sessions in a row. Every blue-chip stock fell.

The leading index has halved in value since it reached its peak at 6,950.6 in 1999, before the dot-com boom unravelled, the global economy weakened and corporate scandals in the United States shattered confidence.

Financial stocks led the decline, with banks slicing a 27-point chunk off the leading index. Insurers took a further five points off.

Among the clutch of gainers, shares in Acambis, which supplies smallpox vaccine, rose 0.2 percent as it sought to reassure investors Monday about the revenue it expected to generate from playing its part in the U.S. fight against bioterrorism.