The FTSE 100 opened lower this morning, down 0.31% to 5,529, as miners saw falls across the board.
The basic materials sector was the heaviest faller, down 1.23%, while technology was the strongest gainer, up 0.27%.
At the stock level, oil exploration company Rockhopper jumped 5.68% this morning, while climate control specialist Colt Group, industrial group Victrex, and the Co-operative Bank were also climbers.
Among the fallers were Cable & Wireless, down 3.01%, while miners took all remaining places among the bottom five stocks in the index. Kazakhmys fell 2.73%, Antofagasta was down 2.56%, Anglo American fell 2.33% and Xstrata 2.03%.
The banking sector saw a further shakeup as HSBC appointed Stuart Gulliver, dubbed "a casino banker" by the Daily Mail, as chief. The bank's shares were down 0.23% to 662.5p in early trading as it was announced CEO Mike Geoghegan was stepping down.
Meanwhile, in Asia, there were reports Japan's central bank had intervened again to weaken the yen, thereby helping exporters.
Traders in Tokyo said a sudden jump in the dollar's value on Friday was due to the bank's selling of yen.
Last week, the Bank of Japan began buying dollars on a large scale for the first time in six years, and said it was ready to take further action.
In afternoon trading in Tokyo, the dollar jumped suddenly from mid-84 yen to as high as 85.38 yen before slipping back to 85.07 yen.
"It appears that authorities have intervened," said Yu Yokoi, a foreign exchange dealer at Mizuho Bank.
The Bank of Japan has not confirmed the latest move, although traders said it was unlikely officials would provide a running commentary on its interventions.
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