The FTSE 100 has lurched lower amid mounting investor fears over the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump's presidency.
The UK blue-chip index slumped 95 points, or 1.3%, extending yesterday's sell-off as US markets fell sharply overnight.
The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closed 1.8% lower yesterday, amid rising concern over reports of Trump's efforts to infere with a federal investigation which could at the least delay his policy programme, and possibly even lead to his impeachment.
Nervousness over Trump's presidency also weighted on the dollar, helping the pound, which buoyed by strong retail sales figures for April, jumped above the $1.30 mark for the first time since September last year.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said the crisis had 'delivered investors the kick in their complacency that many had been warning about, as stock markets and the US dollar fell sharply, while safe haven assets like gold surged'.
'President Trump has enjoyed an almost Teflon-like existence since being in the White House with markets prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt on a number of occasions despite his tendency to stagger from one controversy to another,' he added.
'This latest one involving ex-FBI head James Comey has sparked concerns that this could be Trump's Watergate moment.'
Tool hire group Ashtead (AHT), which relies on the US for the bulk of its revenues, was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, down 4.5% at £14.90.
The FTSE 250 was also down sharply, trading 0.9% lower at 19,598. But Berendsen (BRSN) bucked the falls, soaring 23.6% to £10.67 as the laundry services group rejected a £2 billion takover bid from French rival Elis (ELIS.PA).