FTSE drops below 6300

The London equity benchmark is now under the important 6300 level, hitting a seven-week low.

The old eurozone fears have crept back into the market, leaving stocks offside this lunchtime. The European central bank (ECB) has been brought before the Constitutional Court in Germany, which is trying to determine if it was legal for the ECB to purchase European government bonds. At the height of the eurozone debt crisis, when the cost of borrowing for indebted eurozone countries was increasing, the ECB supported the bond markets in order to bring stability to the region. Investors have been spooked by the court hearing, fearing the ECB might be found to have acted unlawfully.

The mining sector has suffered most. Dealers are still concerned about the worse-than-expected inflation data that China posted over the weekend, which might be a sign that the country is slowing down and may therefore have less need for minerals.

We are expecting the Dow to open 120 points lower at 15,118, as US investor confidence is dragged down by the events in Europe. At 3pm, the US will announce the NIESR gross domestic product (GDP) estimate, and if the report is well-received it could help US equities shrug off the subdued mood.

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