Stocks spent the morning session stuck in reverse gear, with civil unrest in Spain and Greece setting investors' nerves on edge.
Yesterday saw anti-austerity protests in Madrid while today will see a 24-hour strike in Greece in protest at spending cuts.
Mining stocks are getting hammered on concerns over slowing global growth. Anglo American said it plans to cut back on coking coal output over the next few months as costs rise and prices drop.
The company also revealed that its Anglo American Platinum subsidiary continues to experience low attendance levels at its Rustenburg operations in South Africa, which are the subject of unofficial industrial action. Turnout rates are less than 20%, the company revealed.
In other company news, first half profits from international home emergency business Homeserve will be higher than in the corresponding period of last year, and therefore higher than some broker estimates. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months ending September 30th is expected to be higher than the £23.5m achieved at the interim stage last year, principally due to the benefits of increasing ownership of Domeo from 49% to 100%. Broker Peel Hunt had forecast £20m.
Waste management group Shanks said it now expects results for the year to March 31st 2013 to be slightly below the current range of expectations after market conditions in the UK and Dutch solid waste markets deteriorated significantly in the first half. Shanks said its organics, hazardous waste, and UK municipal businesses continued to perform robustly and in line with company expectations.
Performance across ICAP's voice and electronic businesses has remained more muted than anticipated at the time of the inter-dealer broker's annual general meeting in July. On the plus side, although activity in global markets has remained subdued in the last six months or so, there has been some improvement in trading volumes in September. As a result, group revenue in the six months ending September 30th is expected to be around 14% lower than the previous year.
Growth has slowed at pizza delivery firm Domino's Pizza. Like-for-like sales in the UK in the third quarter were up by 3.7%, versus 4.1% the year before and 5.7% in the first six months of the financial year.
Experian, the information company, has announced its sale of price comparison site PriceGrabber has fallen through in acrimonious circumstances.
The $175m disposal was announced back in May, but Experian says the purchase deadline has now passed and that it believes the putative buyer, Indian outfit Ybrant Digital, is "in breach of contract".
FTSE 100 - Risers
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,210.50p +0.23%
Intertek Group (ITRK) 2,718.00p +0.22%
Carnival (CCL) 2,345.00p +0.13%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,732.50p +0.04%
Rexam (REX) 441.30p -0.05%
SSE (SSE) 1,396.00p -0.14%
Capita (CPI) 774.00p -0.19%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 728.00p -0.21%
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) 1,453.50p -0.21%
Diageo (DGE) 1,748.00p -0.34%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 239.40p -4.24%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 114.10p -3.88%
Barclays (BARC) 215.70p -3.36%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,012.00p -3.34%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,837.50p -3.31%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 261.10p -3.30%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 694.00p -3.14%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,755.00p -3.09%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 567.00p -3.08%
Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) 39.41p -2.97%
FTSE 250 - Risers
TR Property Inv Trust Sigma Shares (TRYS) 79.00p +9.87%
Rank Group (RNK) 149.40p +2.33%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 67.50p +1.28%
Savills (SVS) 401.40p +1.01%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 776.50p +0.98%
Grainger (GRI) 110.00p +0.92%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 642.50p +0.86%
JPMorgan Indian Inv Trust (JII) 362.50p +0.81%
London & Stamford Property (LSP) 114.10p +0.71%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHMG) 1,988.00p +0.66%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 472.00p -9.23%
Shanks Group (SKS) 82.80p -8.25%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 195.60p -5.87%
Bumi (BUMI) 160.40p -4.52%
Morgan Crucible Co (MGCR) 264.20p -4.45%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 538.00p -4.44%
ICAP (IAP) 329.70p -4.13%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 405.30p -3.73%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 152.00p -3.31%
Ladbrokes (LAD) 179.90p -3.23%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
Skyepharma (SKP) 96.00p +4.35%
Ark Therapeutics Group (AKT) 3.50p +2.94%
Optos (OPTS) 197.00p +2.87%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 134.00p +2.68%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
RM (RM.) 77.25p -4.04%
Promethean World (PRW) 23.00p -2.65%
Timeweave (TMW) 21.75p -1.69%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 204.00p -1.45%