The FTSE 100 dropped on Tuesday (15 March) after gains made at the very start of the week.
The blue chip lost 0.5% as the markets anticipate George Osborne's budget, presented in the House of Commons on Wednesday. The chancellor has already flagged that he would not have much wiggle room and businesses are holding their breath, anticipating possible tax increases.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight said, although Osborne said that now is not the time for significant tax hikes, "the chancellor is expected to look to get more money out of multinational companies operating in the UK by closing more tax loopholes".
"There are strong expectations that insurance premium tax will be increased," Archer added. The markets are expected to give a strong response to the top Tory's new legislation.
Legal and General was among the companies weighing down the FTSE on Tuesday, having fallen more than 6%. The insurer's full year results were largely in line with expectations, except its capital position, which missed market consensus. However, profits jumped by 14% to £145bn ($205bn) and the company hiked dividends by a fifth.
Nigel Wilson, L&G's chief executive, said the company has prepared itself for further uncertainties on stock markets and sees a steady growth in the next years.
On the gainers' side of the FTSE 100 was bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The bank said on Tuesday it is cutting 448 UK-based jobs in its investment bank division.
The further job cuts come on top of 220 face-to-face financial adviser redundancies which were announced on Monday.
FTSE 100 biggest risers*
Coca Cola HBC AG +1.78%
Royal Bank of Scotland +1.56%
RSA Insurance +1.42%
FTSE 100 biggest fallers
Anglo American -10.69%
BHP Billiton -6.63%
Legal and General -6.36%
Rio Tinto -4.10%
FTSE 250 biggest risers
Onesavings Bank +3.62%
Hastings Group +3.41%
Aldermore Group +3.40%
FTSE 250 biggest fallers
Tullow Oil -11.11%
Vedanta Resources -7.12%
Bank of Georgia Holdings -6.70%
Media Corporation -5.88%
*Data provided by London Stock Exchange and Thisismoney, figures at 16.50 GMT after markets closed.