The FTSE 100 is slightly down in early trading with a drop of 14 points, or 0.22%, to 6,240.9, with mining and energy stocks leading the decline.
Miner BHP Billiton is the biggest drag so far with a drop of 1.51% to 981p, closely followed by National Grid, which is down 1.47% to 735.5p, while BP has fallen 1.34% to 590p.
BG Group is also down 1.32% to 710p, closely followed by Rio Tinto, which has slipped 1.26% to £27.49, although losses are being limited by WPP, which has gained 0.66% to 691.5p.
Cadbury Schweppes is posting the biggest gains so far with a rise of .6% to 5405p, closely followed by Capita Group, which is up 0.85% to 593p, while Legal & General has gained 0.67% to 150.75p.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 72.14, or 0.5%, to 16,091.73 at the 3pm close as energy-related stocks fell after crude oil slumped by the most in more than a year.
Mitsubishi, which generates the second-biggest proportion of its sales from selling crude and industrial fuel, dropped 30 yen, or 1.4%, to 2,060, while Inpex, Japan's biggest oil explorer, lost 34,000 yen, or 3.5%, to 934,000.
Among exporters Canon, the world's largest seller of digital cameras, climbed 60 yen, 1%, to 6,310, while Nissan Motor, Japan's second-largest carmaker, advanced 18 yen, or 1.3%, to 1,440, and Matsushita Electric Industrial, the maker of Panasonic-brand products, added 45 yen, or 2%, to 2,305.
Elsewhere financial companies also dropped, with Millea Holdings, Japan's biggest insurer, slumping 170 yen, or 4.2%, to 3,840. Meanwhile Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, the country's second-largest property and casualty insurer, slid 38 yen, or 2.7%, to 1,352, and Mizuho Financial Group lost 7,000 yen, or 0.8%, to 849,000.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new high with a rise of 54.11 points, or 0.44%, to 12,305.82, as benign inflation data, tumbling oil prices and merger activity sent the index soaring.
Boeing posted the biggest gains with a rise of .87% to $88.71, closely followed by United Technologies, which gained 1.77% to $66.76, while Altria Group climbed 1.6% to $83.57.
McDonalds also gained 1.39% to $41.67, closely followed by Microsoft, which climbed 1.2% to $29.47, although gains were limited by AT&T, which slipped 0.18% to $32.40.
Exxon Mobil was the biggest drag on the index with a fall of 2.85% to $72.67, as the price of crude oil slumped, closely followed by Alcoa which slipped 0.84% to $28.31, while 3M Company dropped 0.52% to $80.29.IFAonline
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