Fresh evidence that the eurozone debt crisis is impacting Asia depressed sentiment on markets today.
Japan reported slower-than-expected growth of 0.3% in the second quarter of 2012 as the malaise in Europe hit demand for its exports.
With China adding to the disappointment after it failed to roll out stimulus measures following poor industrial and retail data, the FTSE 100 Index was down 15.2 points at 5,831.9.
Oil and gas group Petrofac was the biggest faller despite unveiling a 37.5% rise in pre-tax profits for the six months to June 30 to £263million. Its shares lost 81p to £14.86.
Heavily weighted mining stocks dragged on the top-tier with Vedanta Resources dropping 20p to 977p and Antofagasta falling 16p to £11.17, but shares in banking giant Standard Chartered were up amid reports that the lender was closing in on a settlement deal with New York state regulators over alleged hidden transactions with Iran.
The bank, which saw shares rise 7p to 1,333.5p, was last week accused of illegally processing £160billion of payments for Tehran.
Outside the top flight, shares in recruitment firm Michael Page International fell 2% after it reported a slide in profits at its UK arm as business with the country’s beleaguered banking sector continued to suffer. Shares lost 7.8p to 371.2p.
The biggest Footsie risers were Schroders up 12p at £14.19, Lloyds Banking Group ahead 0.3p at 31.6p, Sainsbury’s up 2.4p at 325.7p, and G4S ahead 1.8p at 264.3p.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were CRH off 30p at £12.19 and Whitbread off 40p at £21.10.
Alan MacPhee, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Melrose Resources rose 2.43% to 136.375p, with Wolfson adding 2.38% to 217p and Parkmead adding 1.82% to close at 13.875p.
The laggards included Xcite Energy, which closed down 2.86% to 76.75p, and Hunting, which slipped 2.8% to 779.5p.