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.
More than half of people over the age of 55 see financial security as a top priority in retirement, yet a third allocate more time to buying a new car, research from Legal & General (L&G) has found.
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