The FTSE 100 index of Britain's leading shares dipped 0.97 per cent on Wednesday, taking its lead from a slump in Chinese shares overnight after China tripled a share-trading tax in a bid to reign in its red-hot market.
At 1058 GMT, the FTSE 100.FTSE was 64.3 points lower at 6,542.2, with many investors looking to the US Automatic Data Processing's employment report for economic indicators at 1215 GMT for future market direction.
"Heavy losses in China overnight, after its government tripled stamp duty on share trading, have fed into European markets this morning as investors fear the world's largest economy could initiate a global market decline," said Victoria Savage, a trader at CMC Markets.
Commodities, and London Brent crude climbed above $68 a barrel after a new attack on a Nigerian pipeline illustrated the uphill task the new president faces to restore lost output in the world's eighth biggest crude exporter. The rise halted a fall of $1.58 on Tuesday.
BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile , Research) fell 1.1 percent, and rival Shell (RSDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) lost 1.3 per cent.
In mining shares, concerns over Chinese demand and falling base metal prices dragged, with Lonmin (LMI.L: Quote, Profile , Research) down 1.7 per cent, Rio Tinto (RIO.L: Quote, Profile , Research) falling 1.3 per cent and BHP Billiton (BLT.L: Quote, Profile , Research) dipping 1.5 percent.
Antofagasta (ANTO.L: Quote, Profile , Research) was up 0.1 per cent after it posted a 19.6 per cent rise in first-quarter profit, reflecting higher copper and molybdenum prices.