The FTSE 100 lost this morning's one per cent gain to close Monday down 0.54 per cent to 5,325.90.
Last week's backbone to the index the miners slipped away today with Kazakhmys leading the drops falling 10.40 per cent.
Xstrata fell 8.50 per cent, Vedanta Resources was down 8.16 per cent, Antofagasta slipped 8.13 per cent and Anglo American dropped 7.10 per cent.
HSBC was down just 1.08 per cent despite announcing a 28 per cent drop in profits due to subprime write-downs from the US market.
Thomson Reuters was up 4.80 per cent, builders merchant Wolseley climbed 4.49 per cent, and Guinness-brewer Diageo rose 3.64 per cent,
British Energy rose 3.43 per cent as chances of a takeover deal picked up and defence specialist Cobham was up 3.34 per cent.
Since opening in New York, the Dow Jones was down 0.1 per cent after making up initial opening losses.
Anthony Grech, market analyst at spreadbetting firm IG Index, said: "Initial strength on the market faded as results from HSBC weighed on the banking sector and helped to offset the gains seen for BP and Shell on the back of a stronger crude price.
"A weaker opening on Wall Street has not helped the UK today and the pessimistic mood that has dogged the market since the middle of last week is still around.
"The next day or so should help shed some more light as to which way the next significant move will be."