The index of 100 leading shares was down more than 1% just after 9am after flat trading on Wall Street and in Asia, with investors awaiting British inflation numbers.
The FTSE 100 fell 1.05%, or 61.33 points, at 5,759.08 in early morning trading, as last night's eleventh hour slide on Wall Street hurt London.
Chip maker Arm and Rexam, after a reassuring trading update, are the only two blue chips making any significant upward progress.
Otherwise, shares in Kazakymys, down 51p to 1463p, Fresnillo, down 46p at 1407p, and Man Group, down 9.4p at 284.30p, led a long procession of fallers.
In Europe the German Dax was down 0.59% at 6750.42 points, and the French CAC 40 fell 1.16% at 3819.30.
US shares finished all but flat on Monday after a volatile day, despite news of better-than-expected retail sales and two multi-billion dollar deals.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 0.08% at 11,201.97 points.
The Japanese market ended the day lower, despite earlier touching a five-month high.
The Nikkei 225 closed down 30.41 points, or 0.3%, at 9,797.10 after profit-takers pulled the market lower.
Despite improved risk appetite
FOS award limit increase
Relates to 136 million transaction reports
Ceremony will take place 13 November