LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) took a hit this morning and is down 147 points, or 2.3%, as of 7:40 a.m. EDT after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke of potentially ending the stimulus program next year.
Following last night's press conference, global markets have fallen this morning, with Japan's Nikkei index losing 231 points, or 1.7%. Every single share in the FTSE 100 fell as the stock market opened this morning, with similar scenes across Europe in Germany's DAX, Spain's IBEX, and France's CAC.
Likening the move to "letting up a bit on the gas pedal as the car picks up speed, [and] not pressing on the brake," Bernanke confirmed that if forecasts are correct, then the Federal Reserve would look to end its bond-buying scheme in the summer of 2014. The process is due to begin sometime in 2013 when unemployment is reduced to about 7% -- the latest figures from May show that America's unemployment rate stands at 7.6%.
The FTSE's slump wasn't helped by a fall in the price of gold following the Fed's announcement, with the likes of Randgold Resources particularly feeling the effects today: The miner is currently down 6%.
To compound matters, there was also negative news from China, showing that factory output has fallen to its lowest level since last September, while rumors are circulating that the Chinese government is set to tighten credit conditions on lending. China's CSI300 slid 3.3% to a six-month low.
Many Fools have commented that they've been waiting for a rerating or correction on some of their favorite stocks, so this dip may well provide a buying opportunity depending on your levels of dry powder. So why not start doing your research for potential investments within the FTSE 100 by reading this exclusive wealth report, which reviews five particularly attractive opportunities? Each of these blue-chip companies offer a mix of robust prospects, illustrious histories and dependable dividends. The report is completely free but will only remain available for a limited time -- simply click here to get it sent to your inbox immediately.
Sam Robson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
The Dow Has Ridden U.S. Strength Higher, but Will Europe Bring the Bull Market Down?
While the U.S. economy looks increasingly strong, Europe is still in a heap of trouble.
Why the Dow's European Central Bank Boost Didn't Last Long
Investors in the Dow Jones Industrials were waiting for Europe's central bank to make its policy move, but the gains disappeared quickly.
FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week
A look back at the week in London.