END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares slumped to triple-digit losses by the close, with a poor start on Wall Street adding to the general poor sentiment, with miners, banks and the oil industry driving blue chips down.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 128.12 points at 5,595.55 with the FTSE250 off 244.4 points at 11,136.16 and the FTSE Smallcaps 43.68 points lower at 3,069.65.
US stocks were lower in late morning trade, investors fretting over Europe and cautious ahead of the Q1 earnings season which kicks off tonight with metals giant Alcoa.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 73 points at 12,856, the S&P500 fell 8 points at 1,374 and the Nasdaq Composite was 16 points lower at 3,031.
Investors returned from the long weekend break faced with a familiar set of circumstances, with global macro-economic concerns, underlined by weaker-than-expected US jobs data Friday, ensuring the mood was sombre.
Metals prices sagged on signs of a slowdown in China and financial issues remained fragile as problems for Spain weighed on the Eurozone.
Losses accelerated in the afternoon as Wall Street stumbled.
Mining shares were among the worst performers, with Vedanta Resources taking the blue chip wooden spoon, slipping 80p at 1,155p, as it continues to see reduced iron ore sales following the mining ban in the Karnatka state of south-western India. Elsewhere, Rio Tinto dropped 154p at 3,306p and Antofagasta lost 57p at 1,072p.
In total contrast, shares in gold miner Randgold Resources soared to the top of the leaderboard, up 270p at 5,425p on news of a political settlement in Mali.
Oil producers sagged on demand concerns and as WTI crude slipped below $102 a barrel, with Shell down 50p at 2,146.5p and BP off 10.75p at 445.35p.
Oil industry service groups were also under pressure, with Petrofac 94p lower at 1,661p after a downgrade to hold from buy at Liberum Capital. AMEC slipped 51p at 1,077p and Wood Group lost 50.5p at 671p.
Financial issues suffered on Eurozone concerns, with Barclays the worst of the banks, down 13p at 206.3p. Lloyds lost 1.58p at 29.8p and Royal Bank of Scotland gave up 1.1p at 24.72p.
HSBC dropped 17.5p at 537p after confirming it is in talks over the possible sale of its retail banking and wealth management business in Korea.
Insurers were also on offer, with Aviva sliding 11.8p at 305.2p, Prudential off 18p at 718p and Legal & General 3.9p lower at 123.9p.
Retailers found the going tough, with Tesco leading the supermarket operators lower, down 9.25p at 315.25p, while Morrisons fell 6p at 287.5p and Sainsbury dipped 4.9p at 298.3p.
On the limited upside with blue chips, satellite broadcaster BSkyB climbed 18.01p at 654p after encouraging noises from analysts.
Down the list, holiday operator Thomas Cook jumped 2.75p at 23.25p on confirming it is in advanced talks with its bankers over re-financing.
Bus and train operator FirstGroup dropped 15.4p at 198.5p after downgrades from Barclays Capital and Citigroup.
SharePrice.com will do their best to ensure the quality of the information displayed on this site, but all information is provided as-is. We cannot be held responsible for any loss, material or otherwise, due to incorrect information found here. All share prices are provided by the London Stock Exchange, and are at least 15 minutes delayed.