A massive monthly trade deficit announced by the US government this afternoon helped the FTSE lock in a 50.8 points loss to 4,433.20 by the close.
The change is further evidence US consumers have been joined by corporate American in increasing spending, which is increasing the chances of an interest rate rise by the end of June.
HBOS, the biggest UK bank, shed 5p to 714p on analyst comments the bank could suffer as interest rates increase.
Northern Rock shed 14.5p to 729.5p.
Marks & Spencer closed down 6.25p to 359.75p on further speculation about the price raider Philip Green may be prepared to pay for the struggling retailer.
WH Smith dropped 12.25p to 337p on news a takeover will not be followed through by private equity specialist Permira because of pension fund concerns.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index is currently down about 80 points to 10,329.IFAonline
Clarke replacing Balkham
'Deep-dive analysis of client behaviour'
Ways to mitigate April’s increases
The best equity income funds examined