The retreat in global markets showed no signs of ending today despite a boost to mining stocks following better-than-expected trade figures in China.
The exports boost in August eased fears of a slowdown in the world's second largest economy and lifted demand prospects for commodity-driven stocks.
Progress in the mining sector left the FTSE 100 Index 34.6 points lower at 6305.7, compared with initial indications for a fall of around 65 points.
Fears that the euro zone economy will plunge back into recession have diverted investors away from riskier stocks and caused a slump for the Dax in Frankfurt and Cac40 in Paris, leaving both lower by around 0.5 per cent today.
In London, TUI Travel was the biggest faller with a drop of 2 per cent or 7.6p to 336.2p while InterContinental Hotels was 47p cheaper at 2148p.
Apple chip designer Arm Holdings, which is based in Cambridge, was down 2 per cent or 17.25p to 825.25p after big losses for the tech-laden Nasdaq index on Wall Street on Friday.
Chocolate maker Thorntons came under pressure after it said sales through commercial channels fell 12.8 per cent to £20.8 million in the 14 weeks to 4 October.
It blamed the timing of orders from supermarket customers but with retail stores also quieter the company's shares slid 6% or 5.9p to 93.1p.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies