Renewed fears over Europe sent world stock markets into the red today ahead of an expected plea from Greece for more time to meet austerity measures.
The FTSE 100 Index slumped 1.4%, or 83.3 points to 5,774.2, with markets in France, Germany and the US following suit.
Miners were at the forefront of the sell-off in London, with BHP Billiton adding to the pressure after reporting a 35% decline in annual profits due to the slowdown in global economic growth. Its shares were 33p lower at £19.47, while Kazakhmys led the FTSE declines with a 30.5p drop to 704.5p.
Energy firm SSE was one of only two risers after it announced a shock 9% rise for electricity and gas bills to recoup higher wholesale energy prices, as well as cost burdens from regulators and government schemes.
While an unpopular move with customers, investors cheered the decision, sending SSE shares up 16p to £13.54.
Elsewhere, Stagecoach shares were 4.2p lower at 293p after chief executive and co-founder Sir Brian Souter announced plans to switch from chief executive to chairman.
Alongside SSE the only Footsie riser was Tullow Oil, ahead 4p at £13.79.
Among the biggest Footsie fallers were Evraz off 10.3p at 255.5p, Eurasian Natural Resources down 14.2p at 356p and Anglo American down 73p at £19.10.
Steven McKay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted that Xcite Energy added 7.4% to 91p and A.G. Barr climbed 0.4% to finish the day at 448.15p.
On the fallers board, Premier Oil fell 3% to 375.7p, Standard Life dropped 2.7% to 268.9p and Aberdeen Asset Management closed 1.7% lower at 277.5p.