The FTSE 100 is slightly up in early trading with a rise of 2.2 points, or 0.03%, to 6,557.7, as two big takeover deals have failed to boost the index.
Reuters is up 3.43% to 626.25p, as Thomson has agreed a deal to buy the firm for £8.7bn to create the world's biggest financial news and data group, while Hanson has climbed 3.41% to £10.93, as it recommended an £11 per share takeover bid from HeidelbergCement in a deal valued at about £8bn.
However, Enterprise Inns is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 6.67% to 775.5p, closely followed by Punch Taverns which is up 3.87% to £13.95, while Wolseley has added 1.96% to £13, although Sage Group has slipped 0.78% to 253.25p.
Miner Rio Tinto is the biggest loser with a fall of 1.22% to £34.82, closely followed by Unilever which is down 0.79% to £16.25, while SABMiller has slipped 0.76% to £11.81, and Carnival has declined 0.76% to £24.97.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 164.96, or 0.9%, to 17,512.98, as stocks dropped after machinery orders unexpectedly fell 4.5% in March, indicating companies are not optimistic about growth prospects.
Sony dropped 160 yen, or 2.5%, to 6,380, while Mitsubishi slid 50 yen, or 1.8%, to 2,700, and Mitsumi Electric, which makes parts for Nintendo's Wii game console, fell 100 yen, or 2.4%, to 3,990.
Machinery makers also fell with Mitsubishi Electric, a maker of robots and factory machinery, slumping 42 yen, or 3.8%, to 1,059, while Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, Asia’s biggest maker of jet engines, tumbled 29 yen, or 6.2%, to 437 yen.
Chiyoda, an industrial plant builder, tumbled 235 yen, or 8.9%, to 2,405, while Obayashi, Japan's No. 4 construction company, slumped 45 yen, or 5.8%, to 731, although rival JGC gained 66 yen, or 3.5%, to 1944.
Isuzu Motors surged 37 yen, or 6.3%, to 622, while Sega Sammy Holdings, Japan's largest maker of pachinko and slot gambling machines, fell 140 yen, or 5.6%, to 2,355, and Pioneer jumped 85 yen, or 5.7%, to 1,570.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed slightly higher, up 20.56 points, or 0.15%, to 13,346.78, as the market suffered from an absence of economic indicators, although technology stocks were among the losers.
General Motors posted the biggest gains with a rise of 3.94% to $30.62, closely followed by Caterpillar which advanced 1.9% to $76.30, while Honeywell International added 1.57% to $58.70.
AT&T climbed 1.11% to $40.03, while Alcoa gained 0.84% to $38.35, although gains were limited by JP Morgan Chase which fell 0.61% to $51.83, and 3M Company declined 0.84% to $84.83.
Among technology stocks Intel dropped 0.72% to $22.12, closely followed by Hewlett-Packard which declined 0.49% to $45.02, although American Express was the biggest loser with a fall of 0.87% to $62.42.
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£300bn of liabilities
View from the front row
Transfer from occupational scheme
Appointed by FCA and PSR boards