The FTSE made a slight recovery after huge losses overnight but is still down nearly 110p at 6250.6.
A sensational day for BHP Billiton saw the firm jump a huge 178 points, or 12.08%, to close on £16.51.
Taking up the rear were Shire, up 19p to £12.37, and Standard Life, up 3.75p, or 1.22%, to 312.25p.
However, these gains were overshadowed by Cadbury Schweppes, down 51p, or 8.23%, to 569p, Man Group, down 39.5p to 528.5p, and Mitchells & But, down 40.5p, or 5.18%, to 741p.
Different story in the US though; the Dow Jones opening with a flurry of activity and pushing the index up 48.61 points, or 0.37%, to 13260.6.
Early winners include Merck & Co, up one point, or 2.01%, to 50.65, and Exxon Mobil, up 1.48 points, or 1.74%, to 86.61.
Threatening to spoil the day though are American International, down 1.63 points, or 2.54%, to 62.55, Alcoa, down 0.95 points, or 2.5%, to 37.08, and GEN Motors, down 0.25 points, or 0.77%, to 32.15.
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