Global stock markets have slipped deeper into negative territory as investors continue to fret about the US downgrade and the eurozone debt crisis.
The FTSE 100 was 1.2% down on the opening bell, before staging a partial recovery which saw the index climb back into the black as investors took advantage of depressed stock prices.
However, London's leading index swiftly declined as investors shrugged off the European Central Bank's announcement it plans to purchase Italian and Spanish bonds to ease the lending costs for heavily indebted eurozone countries.
The FTSE 100 had dipped 1.6% or 84 points to 5,163 by 1.30pm, weighed down by miners who endured a torrid day of trading.
Kazakhmys fell 6.39% or 69 points to 996p, while Xstrata lost 5.91% or 62 points to 988p, with investors fearful there will be less demand for commodities if the global economy weakens.
Meanwhile, the German Dax slipped 2.29% to 6,093, while the French Cac fell 1.81% to 3,219.
Gold has climbed sharply, with investors tapping its safe haven status to shield against volatile market conditions.
The commodity is up 3.27%, reaching a new nominal of high of $1,703.
Lasting power of attorney
Three risk profiles
Caused by falling oil price
Roger Marsden takes over on interim basis
Will face 'appropriate action'