The FTSE 100 index has so far lost around 18 points to 4,385 after Abbey National's share price fell on speculation it may sell off its life-assurance businesses.
The lender lost 5.75p to 482p as today’s Times reported Abbey may sell its life assurance businesses if it receives approval from the FSA.
Reuters Group, the world's largest publicly traded provider of financial information, also fell 4.25p to 348.5p after analysts at Morgan Stanley cut the company’s recommendation from “overweight” to “equal-weight”.
Mining stocks gained this morning. Rio Tinto, the world's third-largest miner, added 16p to 1,337p, and BHP, the world's number one mining company, rose 7.25p to 488.75p.
William Hill dropped 8p to 538.5p. The betting chain announced its first-half earnings will meet analysts' estimates for the year after it set up more gambling machines.
And Marks & Spencer added 1 penny to 360.5p.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 66.44 points to 11,475.27 earlier today, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 31.97 points to 12,284.08.
And on Wall Street yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index ended the day at 10,282.83 without making any gains at all.
The S&P 500 index ended down 3.56 points to 1,125.38, and Nasdaq's Composite index lost 8.89 points to 2,006.66.IFAonline
Clarke replacing Balkham
'Deep-dive analysis of client behaviour'
Ways to mitigate April’s increases
The best equity income funds examined