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.
Smoking biggest culprit; obesity second
Average earner will gain £840 in 2018
Will also move heritage items
Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan