The FTSE 100 opened lower, down 39.78 points or 0.76% to 5220 over worries about global growth following announcements in China and the US.
Miners recorded the biggest falls following further clampdowns on lending in China and a US plan to freeze domestic spending.
Xstrata declined 3.45% to £10.64, Kazakhmys dropped 2.38% to £12.73 and Rio Tinto fell 1.97% to £31.56.
Meanwhile, pharmaceuticals made small gains, GlaxoSmithKline up 0.77% to £12.52 and AstraZeneca rising 0.2% to £30.61.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones was up 23.9 points, or 0.23%, to close at 10,196.
Investors responded positively to the confirmation of Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke for a second term.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei reached a five week low, falling 187.41 points or 1.8% to 10,325, its lowest finish since 21 December.
Exporters were badly hit; the yen rising after China implemented a previously ordered increase in reserve requirements for some banks.
Joined as head of strategy, multi asset, in June
Group income protection
Nine in 10 do not have income protection
Set to become part of Single Financial Guidance Body