The FTSE 100 opened 0.6 per cent down this morning, as mining companies led the blue chip index down.
Miners New World Resources, Rio Tinto, Vedanta, Anglo American and Evraz were all clustered in the morning’s biggest fallers on fears of slowing demand.
New World and Rio Tinto fell by more than four per cent, Vedanta slumped by 3.2 per cent and Anglo American and Evraz dropped by almost three per cent. Anglo American shares were hit earlier in the week on reports that chief executive Cynthia Carroll was to be ousted by shareholders.
Insurer Resolution was the biggest riser, adding more than seven per cent in early trading. Despite reporting lower-than-expected half-year profit, the group announced it is to reorganise its board structure.
Drug company Vectura was up by 5.5 per cent, on the back of announcing strong progress in its product lines.
Standard Chartered was also an early riser, soaring by almost three per cent, as investors reacted positively to news that the British bank had reached a £217m settlement with US regulators over claims of illegal dealing with Iran.
Other UK financials had a tough morning, with only Lloyds showing a modest gain of 0.51 per cent. HSBC dropped 1.38 per cent, Barclays fell by 1.1 per cent and RBS slumped 0.76 per cent.
In the US, the Dow Jones ended yesterday up almost three per cent as investors reacted positively to increased US retail sales data.
This was offset by declines in Asia. The Nikkei closed 0.05 per cent down, while the Hang Seng was tracking a loss of 1.18 per cent as concerns about growth weighed on sentiment.