Shares in UK construction firms lose up to one-quarter of value as stock market crashes down 400 points

Shares in housebuilders have plummeted this morning as the continued turmoil on the financial markets caused the London stock exchange to open dramatically down.

Housebuilder Barratt was the worst hit, with shares dropping by more than one-quarter in early trading to just 66.75p. Close behind were Redrow and Taylor Wimpey, which recorded 12.17% and 13.04% falls respectively.

Shares in the other major UK listed builders Bellway, Berkeley Homes, Bovis and Persimmon were all also down.

The falls came as the FTSE 100 index dropped almost 400 points upon opening, following falls in Asian markets overnight. By 08.15am it was down 7.6% at 3,986 points.

Contractor share prices also followed the market down, with Carillion recording a 6.17% fall and Balfour Beatty falling by 4.23%.

The wider plunge was led by further falls from the major banks, with HBOS down 21.82% and Lloyds TSB down 12.59%. Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland were down 8.23%.