Following the bank holiday weekend the FTSE 100 has tumbled by almost 1 per cent in early trading as concerns over the turmoil in Syria weigh on investors.
The ongoing fear of the tapering of quantitative easing in the US and the escalating situation in the Middle East took saw the blue-chip index drop by 0.88 per cent, or 56.56 points, to 6,435.22 by 1013 BST, with the miners suffering the steepest falls.
Investor sentiment has taken a hit after speculation rose that the US is poised to embark on military intervention in the Syrian conflict, following the suspected use of chemical weapons last week.
Eurasian Natural Resources was 3.26 per cent lighter at 216.3p, while Antofagasta shed 3.06 per cent to 887p but banks were also feeling the pressure.
Meanwhile, Royal Bank of Scotland, which the Government is under renewed pressure to split into a “good” and “bad” divisions, shed 3.08 per cent to 333.7p.