The FTSE 100 is down 37.5 points, or 0.63%, to 5,920.3 in early trading as a weak mining sector is dragging the index lower.
Rio Tinto is the biggest drag on the FTSE so far with a drop of 2.37% to £25.08, closely followed by Vedanta Resources which is down 1.98% to £11.91, while Kazakhmys has slipped 1.85% to £11.17.
However Swiss-based miner Xstrata is the best performer so far with a rise of 2.05% to £22.43, on news it is to raise £2.9bn through a rights issue to fund its acquisition of Canadian miner Falconbridge.
Elsewhere Brambles Industries is up 1.37% to 482.5p, closely followed GlaxoSmithKline which is up 0.9% to £14.53, while Northern Rock has climbed 0.69% to £11.66, and Morrison Supermarkets are up 0.82% to 244.75p.
But the gains are being limited by steelmaker Corus Group which has dropped 2.22% to 385p, while Lonmin has slipped 2% to £25.52, while online gaming firm Partygaming is continuing its fall from yesterday with a drop of 1.11% to 44.5p.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 12.20, or 0.1%, to 16,242.09, paced by energy-related stocks after crude oil prices dropped in New York.
Inpex, Japan's largest oil explorer, declined 35,000 yen, or 3.8%, to 892,000, while rival Japan Petroleum Exploration, fell 230 yen, or 3.2%, to 6,930, and Mitsubishi, the nation's biggest trading company, dropped 60 yen, or 2.7%, to 2,160.
Toshiba, Japan's No. 2 chipmaker, lost 8 yen, or 1%, to 775, while Sharp, the world's biggest maker of liquid-crystal display televisions, declined 10 yen, or 0.5%, to 2,045, and NEC, the biggest personal computer maker in Japan, fell 8 yen, or 1.2%, to 653.
Sony, the maker of the PlayStation Portable game console and Cyber-shot digital cameras, slumped 130 yen, or 2.8%, to 4,600, after analysts cut its rating on the stock to ``neutral'' from ``buy,'' citing battery recall costs and bigger losses at its game business.
However declines were limited by Seven & I, Japan's second-largest retailer by sales, which advanced 40 yen, or 1%, to 3,890, while Takashimaya, the nation's biggest department store operator, rose 49 yen, or 3.2%, to 1,562.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 8.72 points, or 0.07%, at 11,670.35, after tech shares gave back recent gains as a brokerage downgrade hit Apple.
The computer firm fell 2.8%, or $2.12, to $74.86, after brokerage firm Citigroup lowered its rating on Apple to "hold" from "buy," saying much of the positive aspects of Apple's business were already priced into shares.
But casino stocks rose after private equity investors offered to buy Harrah's Entertainment, which rose 13.9%, or $9.25, to $75.68, while shares of rivals MGM Mirage, Pinnacle Entertainment and Boyd Gaming all rose at least 3%.
Meanwhile Qualcomm fell 4.7%, or $1.69, to $34.66, while Broadcom gained 1.7%, or $0.51, to $30.85, after a preliminary court hearing related to allegations by Qualcomm of trade secret misappropriation by Broadcom was scheduled.IFAonline
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