The FTSE 100 index has added just 2 points, or 0.03%, to 6,295 points this morning, with mixed results from the retail sector.
Next has gained 3.39% to £23.80 following yesterday's report of a bid in the offing worth £25 per share.
J Sainsbury has advanced 0.27% to £5.52 after it announced it beat fourth-quarter sales forecasts and said its recovery plan remains on track.
BP has added 1.75% to £5.53 and Shell has gained 1.79% to £17.10, as tension mounts between the UK and Iran.
Woolworths has fallen 1.54% to £11.80 on reports profits slumped from £61.5m to £16m last year on revenues from continuing operations of £2.74bn, up 4%.
Scottish & Newcastle has dropped 3.11% to £5.29 and Wolseley has lost 2.30% to £11.89 as they trade ex-dividend.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 110.32 points, or 0.6%, to 17,254.73 points after US consumer confidence dropped and home prices slipped.
Sony dropped 130 yen, or 2.1%, to 6,080, Honda, which had 55% of its sales in North America last year, slid 100 yen, or 2.4%, to 4,100 and Advantest declined 80 yen, or 1.5%, to 5,260.
Meanwhile, Inpex climbed 22,000 yen, or 2.3%, to 994,000 and Japan Petroleum Exploration advanced 120 yen, or 1.5%, to 8,350 after crude oil surged on speculation supplies will be disrupted because of tension in the Persian Gulf.
Acom, Japan's biggest consumer lender by market value, jumped 300 yen, or 6.7%, to 4,750 and Aiful added 180 yen, or 5.4%, to 3,500 on speculation Mizuho, the nation’s second-biggest bank, will make consumer loan service provider Orient a subsidiary.
Mizuho dropped 17,000 yen, or 2.2%, to 751,000 and Itochu, which owns 21% of Orient, slipped 4 yen, or 0.3%, to 1,156.
In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 71.78 points, or 0.58%, to finish at 12,397.29 points yesterday after a weak consumer confidence report fueled concerns the housing slowdown may spread to the broader economy and hurt corporate profits.
Lennar, a major US home builder, fell 0.09% to $44.50 as it scrapped its 2007 outlook after posting a 73.4% slide in quarterly profit.
DuPont dropped 3.02%, or $1.55, to $49.81 and GE declined 0.58%, or 21 cents, to $35.79.
Among banks, shares of Citigroup fell 0.93%, or 48 cents, to close at $51.06.
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