International fears see FTSE slip
The FTSE 100 Index has slipped into the red as investor focus remained on Japan's woes and the eurozone debt crisis.
Tokyo's Nikkei slid overnight amid caution ahead of the corporate reporting season and following news the Japanese nuclear crisis could last for up to nine months.
The economic troubles in Ireland and Portugal also continued to weigh on markets, with the Footsie down 34.4 points to 5961.6.
UK banks were under pressure for a second session after Ireland's rating blow last week and as high level talks were due to begin in Europe over Portugal's proposed bail out.
Barclays dropped 5p to 296.7p and Royal Bank of Scotland fell 0.5p to 42.1p.
Medical devices firm Smith and Nephew was the biggest top tier faller on concerns any takeover interest from rival Johnson & Johnson may have been scuppered by news its suitor is in talks to buy Synthes.
S&N fell 4% or 28.3p to 668.3p.
Elsewhere, oil explorer Desire Petroleum plunged nearly 60%, down 23.6p to 16.4p, after it failed to find oil at its Ninky well off the Falkland Islands.