After a volatile start, the FTSE is just down 1.71 points (0.04%) to 4039.18 amid falls across Europe and Asia and a dismal day's trading in the US.
Man Group leads the pack in the UK, gaining 20 (5.65%) to 374, while Vodafone added 3.95 (3.83%) to 106.95p. Rolls-Royce Group, Alliance Trust and Unilever have also made early gains.
However, resources companies are lagging. Antofagasta has plunged 10.57% (30.5) to 258p, while Rio Tinto and Lonmin have tumbled 7.24% and 7.06% respectively.
In Frankfurt, the Dax has fallen 74.23 points (1.62%) to 4496.84. However, Nestle’s revised forecast for full-year revenue growth helped bolster the index, as it reported a 3.4% rise in nine moth sales to 81.36bn Swiss Francs.
Bayer is currently topping the table, with gains of 1.49 (3.57) to 43.2, while Metro has made the biggest loss, plummeting 11.2% (2.92) to 23.13 and Volkswagen has lost 5.51% to 229.79.
In Asia, fears of recession prompted the Nikkei to slide sharply, although some losses were regained in afternoon trading as investors anticipated US action to bolster its ailing housing market.
The index followed Wall Street’s lead with sharp declines, reaching 8,016 at its lowest point, but trimmed losses as US markets recovered, to close at 8460.98, with losses of 213.71 (2.46%). Japanese exports suffered most from early selling with car markers Mazda, Toyota and Honda taking a hit.
Wall Street closed at 8519.21 after a dismal day's trading, ending down 514.45 points (5.69%) after corporate figures disappointed. Financial services firm Wachovia posted a huge quarterly loss and investors worried further about the impending recession.
There were no winners. Alcoa saw the worst losses as its share price plunged 13.43% (1.63) to 10.52, while Exxon Mobil tumbled 9.69% (6.93) to 64.57. Walt Disney fell 8.93%, while Verizon Communications and Microsoft Corporation lost 8.07% and 7.83% respectively.IFAonline
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