It's official: British stocks just entered a bear market

Britain’s blue-chip stock index, the FTSE100 officially entered a bear market on Wednesday afternoon, after a global market rout wiped more than 2.5% off its value, pushing the index into bearish territory.

Since April 2015, when the FTSE topped 7,000 points, and hit a post-financial crisis peak, the index has lost a little over 20% of its value, making it, by most definitions, a bear market.

On the day, the FTSE is being led lower by mining stocks, which, after a brief rally yesterday, have returned to their almost perpetual slump.

BHP Billiton — which just announced that it expects to take a $300 to $450 million hit on its yearly profits as a result of the commodity rout — is the worst performing stock, down around 6.2%. Closely following behind are Anglo American, Glencore, and Rio Tinto.

At 2:15 p.m. GMT (9:15 a.m. ET) only three FTSE stocks are in positive territory, with Randgold Resources, the miner specialising in precious metals leading the way, up by nearly 4%, as worried investors take flight to gold.

Here’s the FTSE’s performance over the past couple of years:

Incredibly, the FTSE100 isn’t the first major stock index to turn bearish on Wednesday. In Asian trade, the Nikkei 225 fell by 3.7%, and itself crossed the line into the bear market.

Markets around the world are suffering right now following the earlier market bloodbath in Asia, and oil’s renewed slide into the red.

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