The FTSE 100 opened 33 points adrift as it followed the US and Asia lower over fears of a global economic slowdown.
Japan’s Nikkei post its biggest daily drop in three months early as investors moved into bonds and other assets perceived as havens.
The Nikkei fell 3%, the lowest since mid-February and the steepest daily fall since late December. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down more than 1.5% in afternoon trading.
It is the first day of trading in the region since Friday’s sell-off in the United States when investors dumped stocks in response to disappointing manufacturing data from Germany and a warning signal that a US recession could be on the horizon.
US stocks suffered their worst day since early January on worries over yields on treasuries (bonds). Analysts, however, said that the outcome of trade talks between the United States and China is more significant for stocks in Asia than the shift in the US bond market.
More talks are due in Beijing on Thursday. A Chinese delegation is scheduled to go to Washington for further talks in early April.