Europe Markets Plunge on Uncertainty

The Continent's banks have greater exposure to the U.S. subprime mess than first thought, but no one's clear on just how far it goesleast of all, investors

It's hard to believe that less than two months ago, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index hit a six-year high of 6,754 on the back of upbeat economic news and booming financial-services and commodities stocks. Now, in the wake of the spreading subprime loan crisis in the U.S., the FTSE has given up all its 2007 gains and is trading for the first time since March below the psychologically important 6,000 level.

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