The FTSE fell 61.1 points, or 1.04%, this morning to 5807.9p as fears over the impact of the US recession on global markets continue.
Pharmaceutical group Shire fell 37 points, or 3.5%, to 953p after an analyst dropped its recommendation to ‘under perform’.
Plumbing materials supplier Wolseley fell 25.5 points, or 3.5%, to 707p as it suffers from the ailing US housing market.
Mining group Xstrata rose 122 points, or 3.49%, to 3622p following reports Brazilian minder Vale has begun to arrange funding for a $50bn takeover.
Carphone Warehouse Group rose 3.75 points, or 1.25%, to 302.75p after reporting a 14% rise in sales revenue.
The Dow Jones dropped 171.44 points, or 1.38%, to 12207.17c as American Express suffers from a drop in consumer spending. The credit card company fell 1.67 points, or 3.54%, to 45.44c.
Intel Corporation fell 0.69 points, or 3.33%, to 20c.
Caterpillar rose 0.68 points, or 1.04%, to 65.93c as its fourth quarter earnings rose 11%.
The Nikkei fell 4% to 13,087.91 yen as materials manufacturers slumped. Nippon Steel fell 7.7% to 639 yen while glass maker Hoya fell 9.8% to 3,120 yen.
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Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till