The FTSE 100 Index is little changed this morning, slipping 2 points to 5963.1 points with gains by Corus Group and Prudential.
Prudential has gained 1.2% to 612p after it reported a profit increase of 58% to £448m in the second half as life and pension sales in Asia and the US rose.
Full-year operating profit rose 34% to £1.71bn, beating the £1.58bn median estimate of 10 analysts. Sales rose 21% and the company lifted its full-year dividend to 16.32p a share, from 15.84p.
Corus has rallied 5.6% to 80.5p after it posted a 61% decline in fourth-quarter profit to £67m as energy and raw material prices rose. The median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for a profit of £53m.
Meanwhile, BSkyB has lost 1.6% to 513p after Goldman Sachs downgraded its stock recommendation to "in-line" from "outperform".
GlaxoSmithKline has also lost 0.8% to 1,549p after JPMorgan Chase cut its rating on the shares to "underweight" from "neutral".
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 222.83 points, or 1.4%, to 16,096.21 points led by banks and property developers on speculation the Bank of Japan will increase interest rates from near zero sooner than expected.
Mitsubishi UFJ fell 40,000 yen, or 2.4%, to 1.65m and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group dropped 40,000 yen, or 3.2%, to 1.22m.
Mitsui Fudosan, Japan's biggest property developer, slumped 115 yen, or 4.4%, to 2,510, Mitsubishi Estate fell 80 yen, or 3.2%, to 2,455 and Sumitomo Realty & Development dropped 200 yen, or 6.6%, to 2,820.
In the US, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 58.43 points, or 0.52%, at 11,209.77 points after a Federal Reserve report showed increased US economic activity with moderate inflation.
Sears shares gained 12.8%, or $15.02, to $132.29 after the retailer reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
Citigroup raised its 2006 and 2007 earnings estimates for General Electric, citing stronger trends in infrastructure businesses. GE's stock rose 1.9%, or 64 cents, to $34.42.
DuPont raised its forecast for the first quarter and full year, sending shares of the chemical company up 2.3%, or 95 cents, to $42.87.IFAonline
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