URGENT ¥¥¥ European stocks slide on Italy vote gridlock

Europe's main stock markets slumped at the start of trading on Tuesday, with investors seeking safety as Italy faced political deadlock following crucial elections in the indebted eurozone nation.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 1.40 percent to 6,266.54 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 retreated 1.17 percent to 7,682.24 points and in Paris the CAC 40 plunged 2.79 percent to 3,617.63, as shares in European banks tumbled.

Milan's FTSE Mib slid 1.56 percent in value to 16,106 points, while Madrid dived 3.78 percent on fresh fears of eurozone instability, traders said.