In the UK the FTSE 100 Index of leading shares has slipped 5.80 points, or 0.1% to 5447.30 at its close a short while ago despite a good start in morning trading.
Tesco and Cadbury Schweppes fell on concern higher oil prices will hurt consumer demand. BP and Royal Dutch Shell rose after analyst advised investors to buy the shares.
Tesco, the largest UK retailer, declined 1.3% to 313.75p. Cadbury, the world's third-biggest maker of soft drinks, slid 1.3 % to 576p.
BP, Europe's No.1 oil producer, increased 1% to 669.5p. Royal Dutch Shell, the second-largest, advanced 0.2% to 1,834p.
Aberdeen Asset Management climbed 2p, or 1.9%, to 107.5p. The Scottish money manager, which is buying the UK fund business of Deutsche Bank, said funds under management increased 11% in the five months ending 31 August.
A.G. Barr slid 23p, or 2.3%, to 969p. The company, whose Irn-Bru soda outsells Coca-Cola and Pepsi in its Scottish home market, said first-half profit slipped 6% as it reorganized parts of the business.
Burren Energy a UK oil company operating in Africa and Asia's Caspian region, jumped 22p, or 2.7%, to 846p.
O2 advanced 2.5p, or 1.6%, to 155.5p. The biggest mobile-phone operator in Britain by customers raised its fiscal-year sales-growth forecast for the fourth time in 14 months after adding subscribers and keeping existing ones for longer.
In the US, stocks have fallen in morning trading after a report showed consumer confidence, battered by higher petrol prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, tumbled to the lowest in two years.
The Dow average slipped 16.78 points, or 0.2%, to 10,426.85 consumer-related stocks such as Lowe's leading the drop. Boeing helped support the Dow Jones by gaining for a second day since the company reached an agreement with striking machinists.
Boeing, the world's largest aircraft manufacturer, has rallied $0.84, or 1.3%, to $65.51 for the best performance in the Dow this morning. As part of a tentative three-year agreement with its striking machinists union, Boeing will boost pension payments and keep workers' medical-insurance costs unchanged.
WellPoint has added $1.21 to $76.30 and WellChoice has climbed $5.32 to $75.92. WellPoint, the largest US health- insurance provider, has agreed to buy WellChoice, the biggest New York health-insurance provider, for $6.5bn in cash and stock to gain more market share in the US Northeast.
MCI, the No.2 U.S. long-distance telephone company, has lost $0.10 to $25.41. Qwest Communications International directors discussed renewing a takeover bid for MCI at a board meeting yesterday, five months after conceding to Verizon Communications, people familiar with the matter said.IFAOnline
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