EUROPE/JAPAN - Major European indices suffered triple-digit losses on Tuesday after a third explosion at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant raised fresh radiation fears and sparked a 1,000-point plunge on the Nikkei 225.
London's leading index was more than 132 points lower at 5,637, adding to yesterday's 0.9% loss.
Elsewhere in Europe, the French Cac was down 140 points, or 3.5%, at 3,740 while the German Dax lost more than 300 points, or 4.4%, to drop to 6,566.
It followed a near-11% decline on Japan's Nikkei 225 on Tuesday. The index shed more than 1,000 points to 8,605.15 points, on top of yesterday's 6.2% loss. The broader Topix index fell 9.5%.
At one point, Nikkei was trading 14% lower, registering its biggest two-day drop in 40 years.
There was a third blast at a nuclear plant in Japan, letting off a radiaoactive cloud that officials confirmed could pose a health risk to the population.
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi complex said radiation levels around the site immediately after Tuesday's blast were rising fast but still far from levels that local authorities say would cause large-scale radiation sickness, the Telegraph reported.
The plant was one of the worst hit following Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, which has caused billions of dollars of damage.
Other markets were also impacted by the news. Australian shares fell 2.1% to their lowest close in over six months, while Korea's main Kospi index ended the day 2.4% lower.
Taiwan stocks finished down 3.4%, their biggest drop in 13 months.
Meanwhile, overnight in the US, the Dow Jones closed more than 50 points lower, or 0.43%, at 11,993. Stock index futures have dropped sharply, suggesting the Dow and S&P 500 will open about 3% lower today.
Mark Evans has been appointed as a director at Independent Trustee Services (ITS) to lead trustee appointments in London.
The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is consulting on changes to the actuarial assumptions it uses in valuations in a bid to better reflect the bulk annuity market, with schemes set to move into surplus on aggregate.
Private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes were 96.3% funded on a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) compensation basis at the end of July, according to the lifeboat fund's monthly index.
Conduent has completed the sale of its actuarial and human resource consulting business to private equity investor, H.I.G. Capital.