The FTSE 100 has slowed down after a week of gains, with a slight fall of 0.5 points, or 0.01%, to 5431.4, in early trading, as shares in BSkyB slipped after subscriber numbers disappointed investors.
The subscription satellite service BSkyB has fallen 33p, or 6.26%, to 494p, while British Airways is also feeling the strain by dropping 5p, or 1.59%, to 308.75p.
But it is not all bad news as Amvescap has risen 16.25p, or 4.32%, to 392.5p, on speculation that US fund manager Janus may bid for the firm, while Rentokil continues its run from yesterday with gains of 2.25p, or 1.44%, to 159p.
Meanwhile insurer Legal & General also advanced 1.75p, or 1.61%, to 110.5p, after it said new tax laws would not harm profits.
Elsewhere among the gainers, BP is also on the rise, jumping 9p, or 1.41%, to 649.5p, but in contrast shares in BHP Billiton have fallen 13p, or 1.51%, to 849p.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose above 14,000 for the first time in more than four years, climbing 181.18 points, or 1.3%, to 14,075.96 at its close a short time ago, after reports showed a jump in US services and productivity.
Companies that rely on sales in the US, Japan's biggest export market, gained, with Sony, the world's second biggest consumer electronics maker, advancing 110 yen, or 2.9%, to 3,910 yen.
Amongst the car industry, Honda, Japan's third-largest car manufacturer, advanced 80 yen, or 1.3%, to 6,470, while Toyota rose 50 yen, or 0.9%, to 5,400, as both companies rely heavily on overseas sales.
Elsewhere, oil stocks rose in line with oil prices as Inpex surged 19,000 yen, or 2.4%, to 815,000, while Teikoku Oil jumped 45 yen, or 4.1%, to 1,157.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for a second day climbing 49.86 points, or 0.48%, to 10,522.59 after reports that worker productivity increased and labour costs fell, enabled the market to withstand a $2-a-barrel jump in oil prices.
Merck was one of the biggest movers as it gained $1.07 to $29.48, after winning a second lawsuit over the painkiller Vioxx. A jury ruled the company was not liable for a worker's heart attack and did not engage in consumer fraud. The victory eased concerns it would have to settle thousands of cases after it pulled the drug from the market. Merck lost the first trial and faces another 6,400 suits.
Qualcomm, the world's No.2 maker of mobile-phone chips, also added $3.64, or 9%, to $44.02, after announcing fiscal first-quarter per-share profit will be between $0.36 and $0.38.
Energy shares climbed with oil prices, which surged 3.4% to $61.78 a barrel, on signs US fuel demand is recovering. Exxon Mobil, the biggest publicly traded oil company, jumped $1.19 to $58.57.
Elsewhere, Comcast slid $1.44 to $27.36, as the world's largest cable-television company said third-quarter profit was little changed after it lost 46,000 basic cable customers.IFAonline
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