As traders were hit by a bloodbath on the market, even the prospect of takeover activity among the small-cap energy groups failed to prompt risers.
Rockhopper, the only explorer to have found black gold in the Falkland Islands, dropped 6.75p to 202.25p, despite City voices saying the AIM-listed company looked well set to attract bid interest.
Claiming the gulf between the performance of the sector and the price of oil had "become extreme", scribblers from Goldman Sachs said that as a result the industry giants were likely to be tempted to make a play for some of the smaller names.
They were particularly positive on groups which could attract the attention of national oil companies (NOCs), noting that historically they have made acquisitions "at significantly higher prices".
The analysts picked out Rockhopper as one of the most attractive to NOCs, thanks in part to the absence of a blocking shareholder and its large assets.
Among the other names they highlighted was Bowleven, although the African-focused explorer was also weaker, down 3.25p to 105.25p.
"The old tin hats are back," said one trader, as the FTSE 100 plummeted in the wake of the unveiling of "Operation Twist" by the US Fed last night.
Its surprisingly bearish outlook on the global economy prompted unimpressed investors to hit the sell button, and the benchmark index slumped 244.20 points - or 4.6% - to 5044.21.
With figures from China showing a contraction in manufacturing for a third consecutive month, the heavyweight miners were causing the most damage. Kazakhmys dropped over 9% to 875.5p, its lowest since 2009, while Rio Tinto and Xstrata were hot on its heels, plummeting 296.5pp to 3,092p and 79.4p to 860.2p respectively.
Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group were the worst hit of the banks, falling 9.4p to 143.88p and 2.33p to 33.83p respectively.
Elsewhere among the financial stocks, Legal & General dipped 3.3p to 92.25p after the insurer announced its chief executive Tim Breedon will retire at the end of next year.
With no top-tier stocks in the blue, picking out the day's winners was a case of who had lost the least. Apart from Autonomy, which is being taken over by Hewlett Packard in a £6.7 billion deal, ITV was the least weak. The broadcaster has been helped this week by positive comments over the outlook for advertising, although it still dropped 0.9p to 58.28p.
Meanwhile, investors were fleeing for the cover of defensive stocks, includingGlaxoSmithKline. The drugs maker limited its fall to 22p, hitting 1307.75p, with Goldman Sachs helping by upgrading its advice to "neutral".
There were at least a few risers on the FTSE 250, as easyJet flew up in response to its pre-close trading statement. The budget airline climbed 19.6p to 331.95p after raising its full-year profit expectations.
Down on the Alternative Investment Market, Desire Petroleum slipped 0.5p to 18.63p as chatter intensified that the Falkland Islands explorer will soon launch a possible fundraising, with the group unable to resume drilling until it has raised cash.
Elsewhere, Coal of Africa - which was down 2p to 54p - continued to be the subject of hopeful speculation that the suspension on a key license for its Vele coking coal colliery could soon be lifted, which would mean operations can be restarted.Reuse content