Brexit-sensitive UK stocks and sectors were hit hard on Thursday by the resignation of UK Brexit minister Dominic Raab, a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May as she seeks to secure cabinet and parliamentary support for her draft Brexit deal.
Housebuilders, retailers, and domestic banks all sank and the FTSE 250 <.FTMC> tumbled 1 percent in early deals, while a slump in sterling helped keep the exporter-heavy FTSE 100 <.FTSE> afloat, up 0.3 percent by 0952 GMT.
Housebuilders Barratt Development , Persimmon , Taylor Wimpey , Berkely Group all fell 4.9 to 6.7 percent, among the worst FTSE 100 fallers.
Bovis Homes , Redrow , Bellway and Crest Nicholson fell 4.2 to 6.4 percent on the mid-cap index.
Barclays shares fell 6.6 percent and RBS shares fell 6.2 percent, with Lloyds down 4.4 percent as domestic banks were hit by the resignation, which heightened political uncertainty.
Retailers were also sinking, with Marks & Spencer down 5.2 percent and Next down 5 percent.
Sterling plunged against the euro and the dollar after Raab resigned in protest at May's draft deal for leaving the EU.