FTSE100 Opens Lower

BHP Billiton's decision to drop its bid for Rio Tinto has sent the Footise tumbling this morning with miners giving back big chunks of yesterday's supercharged gains for the sector.

BHP Billiton said a bid for Rio is no longer in the best interests of shareholders, although the company remains convinced of the industrial logic of a merger between the BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the continued deterioration of global economic conditions has prompted a rethink on whether now is the right time to execute a huge acquisition.

Its shares are higher, up 7.65%, but Rio is down over 37% and other miners are down in sympathy.

Just after 9am GMT the FTSE100 was down 71.37, or 1.72%, at 4081.58. The French CAC40 was also lower, down 1.65% and Germany's DAX down 1.88%.