Commodity stocks took a hammering this morning as investors ran for cover with the prospect of fresh Greek elections adding to the uncertainty stalking markets.
The prospect of Greece exiting the Eurozone were mounting as the country struggles to avoid economic meltdown.
But in positive UK news official figures showed a drop in the unemployment rate.
The ILO measure fell by 45,000 in the three months to March to 2.625 million.
Miners were worst hit in London with copper prices dropping and the general gloom surrounding global growth prospects taking their toll.
London copper fell to a four month low while the FTSE 100 was at a low not seen since mid December.
Miner Xstrata and commodities trader Glencore, which is bidding for Xstrata, were among the top fallers as UBS downgraded its ratings for both firms to “neutral” from “buy”, down 5.1 per cent and 3.7 per cent, respectively.
Also in the sector Vedanta and Fresnillo dipped by around 3.5 per cent while heavyweight Anglo American was off by 2.5 per cent.
Australian giant BHP Billiton nudged down by a similar amount while Eurasian sipped by 2.9 per cent.
In banking Lloyds and RBS slipped but Barclays was up 1.4 per cent.
Stocks trading without the entitlement to their latest dividend were Glencore, HSBC, WM Morrison, Polymetal International, Sage Group, J Sainsbury, and Whitbread all trading ex-dividend.
On the up side Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) lifted marginally after reporting strong results. It reported a two per cent rise in full-year profit as growth at its production and generation unit offset a drop in its supply business.
Hedge fund giant Man Group was up 1.6 per cent and insurer Legal & General 0.6 per cent.
On the FTSE 250 Greggs the bakers dipped four per cent after reporting a sales slowdown triggered by the poor weather.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic later US housing starts will be released with April US industrial production figures also due out.
Attention, however, will be mostly on the release of minutes from April’s Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, due after the London market closes.