Global stock markets continued to fall today as investors remained troubled by the prospect of military action against Syria and instability in the Middle East.
The FTSE 100 Index was down 22.9 points at 6418.1, having seen Asian markets catch up with the big losses experienced in Europe and the United States on Monday.
Investors have retreated to safe-haven assets, such as gold and government bonds amid fears the Middle East tensions have the potential to trigger a major disruption to oil supply, even though Syria is not a major producer.
London Brent oil prices saw their biggest one-day rally in six months yesterday and were up another 0.3% to 115 US dollars a barrel today, while the price of US crude jumped to an 18-month high of just over 109 dollars a barrel.
Fears that this will reverse recent declines in fuel costs meant British Airways owner International Airlines Group slumped 6% or 18.65p to 281.85p and easyJet declined 56p to 1178p.
Industrial stocks with a dependency on stable oil prices and global economic conditions also suffered, with engines giant Rolls-Royce down 32.5p to 1081.5p and car parts firm GKN off 7.1p to 324.3p.
Energy stocks benefited from the situation as Royal Dutch Shell rose 47.5p to 2224.5p, BP lifted 4.6p to 451.8p and exploration firm BG added 33p to 1243p.
Safer haven sectors such as utilities and tobacco were also in favour, with Imperial Tobacco up 12.5p to 2132.5p and United Utilities 4p higher at 1321p.
Gold prices rose to hit a three-and-a-half month high of 1.433.85 dollars an ounce at one stage as traders believe the precious metal will hold its value better in times of uncertainty.
Despite this, a recent strong run for Randgold Resources came to an end as its shares dropped 120p to 5215p.
In corporate news, private security group G4S was the biggest top flight riser after it unveiled plans to shore up its balance sheet.
The City's response to the fundraising, involving the sale of new shares and disposal of non-core businesses, was initially lukewarm but shares later surged 7.65p higher to 252.95p.
G4S, which also reported half-year losses of £87 million but kept its dividend unchanged, hopes the move will spare it from a credit downgrade that could add up to £30 million a year in interest payments.