Investors drew comfort from a late rally for Asian markets.
The Dow's slump came as news of an economic rescue package for the US from Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke failed to ease recession worries.
Those fears of weaker economic growth meant mining stocks were again on the back foot in London, with Anglo American off 66p at 2537p and Vedanta Resources down 43p at 1717p, a drop of 2%.
Mobile phone and broadband firm Carphone Warehouse highlighted jitters in the retail sector, as its shares tumbled 4% - or 13.25p to 291.5p - despite telling investors that it remained on course to meet market expectations.
Financial stocks were also affected by the current uncertainty,with Halifax Bank of Scotland off 13p at 620p and Prudential 16p cheaper at 617.5p.
Elsewhere, British Energy shares recovered from a weak start to stand 6.5p higher at 526.5p. It said today that two of its power stations would remain shut until the second half of 2008.