The FTSE 100 is slightly down with a drop of 5.3 points, or 0.08%, to 6,359.4, ahead of the Bank of England's monthly interest rate decision.
Brewer Scottish & Newcastle is the biggest loser with a fall of 1.57% to 596.5p, closely followed by Pearson which has slipped 1.56% to 849.5p, while Cadbury Schweppes has fallen 1.14% to 653p.
Man Group is also down 0.97% to 564p, while Sainsbury has dropped 0.89% to 556p, although losses are being offset by Intercontinental Hotels Group which is up 1.64% to £12.99.
However insurer Old Mutual is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 2.4% to 170.5p, closely followed by British Airways which is up 1.08% to 512.5p, while Rolls-Royce has added 1.01% to 501.25p, and miner Lonmin has climbed 1.37% to £34.14.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 52.67 points, or 0.3%, to 17,491.42, as lower oil prices weighed on energy stocks.
Nippon Oil fell 3.4% to 914 yen after US crude oil futures ended lower on Wednesday, while Nippon Steel dropped 3.2% to 791 yen, as other steel stocks also came under profit-taking pressure.
Meanwhile Nintendo rose 2.1% to 34,350 yen, after it raised its sales and profit forecasts for the business year, while clothing store operator Fast Retailing dropped 0.9% to 9,280 yen and NGK Insulators, a top-ranked maker of insulators for power utilities, dropped 4.2% to 2,540 yen.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended yesterday’s session up 19.75 points, or 0.16%, to 12,530.05, although economic data capped gains made from lower oil prices and a resolution of the UK-Iran situation.
Microsoft posted the biggest gains with a rise of 2.26% to $28.50, closely followed by Home Depot which added 1.28% to $38.11, while Altria Group advanced 1.13% to $70.44.
Honeywell International added 1.09% to $47.25, while Johnson & Johnson climbed 1.07% to $61.29, although gains were limited by United Technologies which slipped 0.52% to $64.93.
However General Motors was the biggest loser with a fall of 1.4% to $31.03, closely followed by AT&T which slipped 1/28% to $39.23, while Disney dropped 0.8% to $34.64, and Du Pont declined 0.66% to $49.56.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
Head of UK intermediary distribution
Latest news and analysis
'Cherry-pick' best software
Revisit sector structure