Stocks slide as wind of change picks up

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is down 50 points, looking to close around the 6455 level. 

RBS in red

Equity markets are edgy ahead of next week's US Federal Reserve meeting; judging by the sea of red on trading screens, investors are pointing towards a taper. 

Royal Bank of Scotland is in the red again after being fined $100 million by the US authorities for not properly overseeing cash transactions with courtiers that have sanctions imposed against them, like Iran. The bailed out bank received a battering after finance director Nathan Bostock announced his resignation yesterday. 

US markets risk-averse 

In the US the Dow Jones is down 70 points at 15,773, as investors refuse to take more risks when it comes to a Fed meeting. Traders know they were lucky with the September meeting and now they are cashing in their chips before Ben Bernanke throws in his two cents. The deal that was struck between the Democrats and the Republicans over the Federal budget reminded traders that all is not well in Washington; the ceiling debt talks will again rear their ugly head in the new year.

Gold down 25%

Year-to-date gold has had its worst performance since 1981; it is down over 25% on the year.

Aussie crashed

The Australian dollar crashed through the $0.9 level when Royal Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens stated he would like a softer Aussie.

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