The FTSE 100 rallied by 2.58pc on Wednesday, but it was too late, as the dismal quarterly performance could not be reversed. Britain’s biggest companies lost almost £118m in value in the past three months, during which the blue chip index fell 7.04pc.

Alastair McCaig of IG said: “The last-minute window dressing will fail to hide what has been three months dominated by panic, fear and uncertainty, leading to global equity markets having over $10 trillion wiped off shares.”

The mining-heavy index has been rocked by fears that demand for metals from China will be severely hit, amid heightened concerns that its economy is contracting.

With the FTSE’s hefty weighting towards the energy and mining sector, Joshua Mahony of IG reckons the fate of the index could be in the hands of mining investors in the months ahead.

Earlier in the quarter, the FTSE 100 slid into official correction territory and it is now down by 14.7pc since hitting an all time record high of 7,104 in April.

The index has steadily lost ground since, hitting its lowest level this year, of 5,898.87, on August 24 – otherwise known as China’s “Black Monday” when trillions of dollars were wiped off global markets in the wake of a surprise devaluation of the yuan.

In the midst of the eurozone crisis in the third-quarter of 2011, the FTSE plummeted by 13.74pc.

Mr Mahony said: “Just like in 2011, it is the third quarter which has seen bullish sentiment unwound drastically, yet it remains to be seen whether the similarities will continue with a bounced for the FTSE at the commencement of October.”

On average, financial markets worldwide tumbled by more than 10pc over the quarter, as China-led malaise triggered fears of a global economic slowdown.