By Max Clarke

London's FTSE 100 index was down 4.2% and Germany's Dax had lost 5.6%, while Wall Street's Dow Jones lost more than 4% in early trading. Shares in some leading banks plummeted, with Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland down more than 10%.

“Markets have fallen significantly due continued uncertainty over the prolonged eurozone debt crisis and the weak UK retail sales and US economic figures announced today,” said John Douthwaite, CEO of Simplystockbroking.

Despite the falls, the general uncertainty in markets today and the fact that a large number of investors and brokers are away on holiday has given rise to a growing number of opportunistic retail investors still buying shares and tucking them away for the long term.

“Surprisingly there seems to be a trend with self-directed investors picking up shares in leading FTSE companies whilst leaving the more risky Small Cap shares for the time being”.

Market analysts predict that the markets will begin to recover and climb steadily in the coming months as fund managers invest new monies into undervalued shares ahead of the year end in December. In the meantime, canny investors will be waiting in the wings looking to capitalise on buying opportunities should market growth falter.

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