FTSE 100 wobbles again

LEADING stocks continued their descent into the red today after yesterday's rumours drew accusations of market abuse in the City.

LEADING stocks continued their descent into the red today after yesterday's rumours drew accusations of market abuse in the City.

Britain's biggest lender, Halifax Bank of Scotland - which dropped as much as 20 per cent at one stage yesterday - made tentative gains as moves made by bosses to quash "malicious" rumours eased investor nerves.

But the wider FTSE 100 Index was in negative territory after heavy overnight falls on Wall Street, with turbulence in financial markets showing no sign of abating.

The bosses of Britain's major banks are set to meet Bank of England Governor Mervyn King today as the credit crunch tightens further.

The meeting comes after the Bank was forced yesterday to make an unprecedented move to deny City rumours that HBOS had turned to it for emergency funding.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) meanwhile launched an inquiry into market abuse, accusing traders of spreading false rumours and dealing off the back of them.

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The Bank said today's meeting had been scheduled last week and was part of a "regular exchange of views'' between the central bank and high street lenders.

But reports suggest banks may press for Mr King to pump more cash into money markets to ease the deepening credit crisis