Continuing unrest in Libya has dragged global markets down, with London's leading share index dropping back below the 6,000 mark reached yesterday afternoon.
The FTSE 100 was down 0.46% to 5,969.03 in early morning trading, shedding almost 28 points.
The best performing stocks were Barclays, up 1.10%, HSBC, up 0.79%, Royal Bank of Scotland, up 0.52%, Scottish and Southern Energy, rising 0.41%, and National Grid, up 0.36%.
ARM Holdings was the biggest loser, dropping 2.81%, followed by Rexam, down 2.38%. Reckitt Benckiser Group declined 2.10%, while Resolution dropped 1.59% and Petrofac was down 1.55%.
In the US, the Dow Jones plummeted 1.44% to 12,212.79 and the Nasdaq lost 2.74%, down to 2,756.42. The S&P 500 was down 2.05%, marking its worst one-day percentage drop since last August.
In Europe, Germany's Dax fell 0.05% to 7,318.35 while France's Cac 40 had also dropped 1.15% to 4,050.27.
Meanwhile in Asia, the Nikkei 225 dropped from its recent nine-and-a half-month high, as investors snatched profits off the table in light of continuing unrest in the Middle East. Japan's leading index dropped 1.78%, down to 10,664.7.
The price of Brent Crude Oil futures surged to $106.78 a barrel, up 1%, although copper declined 1.6%.
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