By Marcus Leach

Both European and UK stocks were hit hard on Monday as a US government committee failed to agree on spending cuts.

This has lead to fresh fears concerning out of control sovereign debt, as the bipartisan US congressional committee is expected to admit that it cannot agree on a plan to cut back spending by $1.2 trillion (£760m) over the next decade to limit the country's debt pile. 

The news saw the FTSEurofirst 300 index of Europe's top stocks slide down 2.3%, which equates to a 15.6% drop over the past year. 

In London, the FTSE 100 was down over 100 points (2.1%) in early trade with no stocks rising. 

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