In the UK, the FTSE 100 Index has dropped a fraction of a point to 4,853 points, led by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance slipping a penny to 84.50p.
At the other end of the scale, the world’s largest household cleaning products maker Reckitt Benckiser has raced to 1,593, up 53p or 3.5% already this morning, after competitor Procter & Gamble announced plans to buy Gillette for $57bn.
Investment management firm Amvescap is also up 6p to 320.25p, while asset management company Schroders has lost that same amount to 742.50p.
In Japan stocks declined, led by phone parts maker Kyocera and telco KDDI after both companies lowered profit forecasts, raising concern earnings growth may slow this year.
Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average index dropped 0.2% to 11,320.58 at close early this morning.
Kyocera shed 1.7% to 7,340 yen. The company cut its profit forecast by 31% to $573m in the year ending March 31, because of slowing sales of digital appliances.
Mobile phone operator KDDI slipped 2.4% to 530,000 yen, after cutting its full-year profit forecast by 2.5%, reporting that customers are trimming their monthly bills.
Seiko Epson a manufacturer of printers dropped 4.5% to 4,230 yen, after reporting a decline in operating profit.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average index lost ground on gains made earlier in the week.
The New York benchmark declined 31.19 points to 10,467.40 points, paced by construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar, down $4.06 or 5% to $86.52.
SBC Communications also shed $0.91 or 3.7% to $23.67.
Boeing meanwhile lifted $1.11 to $50.97.IFAonline
Has spent four years at SLA
Our weekly heads-up for advisers
Factor in volatility
Potential IHT liability