The FTSE 100 has made a sluggish start this morning, down 26.30 points (0.42%) to 6196.40.
Consumer spending concerns are sending stocks lower, with international food, home and personal care manufacturer Unilever pounded early – currently 6.27% down to 1705.
Premium drink giant Diageo is also struggling, 4.09% lower to 1008 and British Energy is down 3.87% to 559.50.
On a positive note, house builders are keeping the FTSE afloat, with Persimmon currently 3.18% ahead to 665.50.
International directories company the Yell Group is also doing well, up 2.69% to 334.50.
In New York, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke alluded to further interest rate cuts, sending the Dow Jones up 117.78 points (0.92%) to 12853.09.
A 15.1% increase in percent Asia Pacific vehicle sales drove General Motors to the day’s best performance, ending Friday up 3.95% to 23.68.
Wal-Mart gained after bucking the slow Christmas sales trend, closing 3.2% higher to 48.40.
Rumours the Bank of America may takeover mortgage lender Countrywide Financial boosted financials, with JPMorgan Chase at the forefront, finishing up 2.66% to 41.33.
Intel was the only stock to suffer significant losses, the worlds largest computer chip maker fell 0.92% to 22.54.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 continued its recent woes, dropping to its lowest level in 26 months. It closed the week down 277.32 yen (1.93%) to 14,110.79.
To compound matters, Goldman Sachs predicted a 50% chance of recession as news of further US sub-prime losses filter through.
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