The FTSE 100 is down 17.3 points, or 0.27%, to 6,396, in early trading as property companies continue to weigh on the index.
Brewing giant SABMiller is limiting losses with a rise of 1.79% to £11.39, following a strong trading update, while British Airways is up 1.39% to 510.5p, and HBOS has added 0.85% to £10.65.
Miner Kazakhmys is also up 0.68% to £11.82, while Vodafone has advanced 0.65% to 139.4p, although Scottish & Newcastle is dragging the index lower with a fall of 2.51% to 583.5p, and Man Group has dropped 2.14% to 547.5p.
However property groups are posting the biggest losses with Land Securities Group falling 2.53% to £21.23, closely followed by British Land is down 2.29% to £15.35, and Liberty International has slipped 1.51% to £12.39.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 129.65, or 0.7%, to 17,540.42 at the 3pm close, as exporters fell after the US Federal Reserve said interest rates may have to rise to tame inflation.
Toyota dropped 100 yen, or 1.3%, to 7,370, while Canon slid 140 yen, or 2.1%, to 6,490, and Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic-brand products, slumped 40 yen, or 1.6%, to 2,395.
Lenders also fell on speculation recent gains have been excessive with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the nation's largest bank, slumping 30,000 yen, or 2.2%, to 1.35 million, while Mizuho Financial Group retreated 7,000 yen, or 0.9%, to 776,000.
Nisshin Steel advanced 9 yen, or 1.9%, to 493, while Nippon Steel added 8 yen, or 1%, to 816, and JFE Holdings, the nation's No. 2 maker of the alloy, jumped 100 yen, or 1.5%, to 6,760.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 89.23 points, or 0.71%, to 12,484.62, as the minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting warned inflationary pressures may lead to future rate hikes.
Alcoa posted the biggest gains with a rise of 0.52% to $35.08, closely followed by Johnson & Johnson which added 0.36% to $61.89, while McDonald’s gained 0.28% to $46.44.
Drug company Pfizer climbed 0.15% to $26.04, and Hewlett-Packard added 0.02% to $40.73, although gains were offset by Honeywell International which declined 1.26% to $46.39.
General Motors was the biggest loser with a drop of 1.93% to $31.46, closely followed by Wal-Mart Stores which slipped 1.4% to $47.27, while IBM declined 1.35% to $95.16, and AT&T fell 1.29% to $38.94.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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