London's leading shares opened fairly high, despite the effect of a weaker mining sector, as bullish banks secured early gains.
The FTSE 100 is up 0.15% to 6421.9 but the biggest loser was Anglo-American, which provides financial services to the mining sector, which dropped 1.27% to £25.69.
This was closely followed by communications firm Vodafone Group, which dropped 1% to 149p.
The day’s next biggest loser was international brewing firm Scottish & Newcastle, which dropped 1% to 546.5p.
However, these losses were stemmed by the Alliance & Leicester bank, which rose 6.29% to £11.33 and the Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group, which jumped 2.53% to 172p.
Imperial Tobacco Group also made strong gains, rising 2.45% to £22.13.
The Bank of Japan’s announcement it was raising the benchmark interest rate to 0.5% prompted the Nikkei 225 Stock Average to fall 25.91, or 0.1%, to 17,913.21.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. led declines in utility companies on concern higher interest rates increase the cost of their debt.
The firm, Asia's biggest generator, dropped 2.2%, to 4,100, while Kansai Electric Power Co., the nation's second-largest, slid 1.7%, to 3,500.
Canon Inc., the world's biggest digital camera maker, dropped 2.3%, to 6,470, while Honda Motor Co., Japan's second-biggest automaker, declined 1.3%, to 4,620.
But Nippon Steel, Asia's second-biggest maker of the alloy, stemmed the flow by jumping 2.6%, to 805.
In the US, stocks suffered heavy losses at the start of play, but quickly recovered to trade higher for the rest of the session, with the Dow Jones industrial average rising 19 to hit another record high of 12,786.
GEN Motors was the biggest loser, dropping 1.07% to 35.95, but it was closely followed by United Technologies, which dropped 0.8% to 68.13, and Verizon Communications, which dropped 0.62% to 38.26.
However, these losses were stemmed by Wal-Mart stores, which rose 3.67% to 50.26, and McDonalds, which jumped 1.06% to 45.80.
In addition, computer firm Hewlett Packard also made gains, rising 0.84% to 43.13.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Scott Sinclair on 020 7034 2636 or email scott,[email protected]IFAonline
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