The FTSE 100 index is currently down around 27 points to 4,407 after UK stocks fell for the first day in three paced by BP.
BP, which is the FTSE 100’s third biggest company, fell 13.5p, or 3.2%, to 413.25p after its performance for last year failed to impress investors. The oil company said better trading late last year had pushed its annual profits up to £6.6bn. However, analysts were still disappointed with the result and an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London said: "there's a bundle of extra things in there we weren't forecasting, which is why the numbers are lower than consensus".
UK financial stocks also commenced trading on a sour note as Royal & Sun Alliance lost 1.75p to 95.75p, Friends Provident shed 2p to 144p and HBOS also fell 3p to 730p.
Lloyds TSB, however, at least managed to gain 0.5p to 462p.
In Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index lost 37.21 points to 10,365.40 earlier today, paced by digital-camera makers after Nikon Corp. slashed its annual profit forecast by 36% as competition pushed down prices. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index also dropped 61.02 points to 13,515.66.
In the US, trading ended down yesterday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average index lost 14.00 points to 10,579.03.
The S&P 500 index closed down 2.95 points to 1,139.81, and Nasdaq's Composite index also closed down 3.44 points to 2,060.57.IFAonline
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