The FTSE 100 fell towards the 6,000 mark mid-afternoon as weaker than expected US jobs data combined with a sell-off in commodities to weigh on shares.
By 2.05pm the FTSE 100 had dropped 1% or 60.49 points to 6,022.
Jobs data in the US - which showed the US private sector had added only 179,000 jobs in April, below estimates, failed to lift the already weak market prior to the US opening.
The market had already been trading lower as sliding commodity prices pulled down mining shares.
Gold has fallen 0.48% to $1,533 per troy ounce, while copper has plunged 1.91% to $4.16.
Brent crude is the only commodity which has not posted heavy losses, holding steady at $122.53 a barrel.
In reaction to weak metal prices, miners dominated the fallers. Antofagasta led the decline, down 7.06% or 94 points to £12.38, after production figures did not meet analysts' expectations.
Elsewhere in Europe stocks also struggled, with the French Cac down 0.13% to 4,091, and the German Dax down 0.31% at 7,477.
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