The FTSE 100 is slightly down in early trading with a drop of 3.3 points, or 0.05%, to 6,314.7, despite advances among commodity stocks.
Miner Kazakhmys is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 2.44% to £11.77, closely followed by oil giant BP which is up 1.61% to 537p, while Scottish & Southern Energy has added 1.51% to £15.43.
BHP Billiton has climbed 1.36% to £11.21, while Reuters has added 1.37% to 462.25p, although financials are bringing the index lower with Northern Rock slipping 1.03% to £11.50, while Amvescap has dropped 1.06% to 606.5p.
However British Airways are the biggest loser so far with a drop of 1.24% to 519.5p, closely followed by Vodafone which has slipped 1.18% to 141.8p, while Marks & Spencer Group has declined 1.03% to 674.5p.
In Japan the Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 61.41, or 0.4%, to 17,480.61, after nationwide land prices increased for the first time in 16 years.
Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan's biggest lender by assets, climbed 20,000 yen, or 1.5%, to 1.37 million, while Central Japan Railway, the nation's No. 2 train operator, jumped 40,000 yen, or 2.9%, to 1.44 million, and Bank of Fukuoka, a regional bank based in Kyushu of southern Japan, advanced 24 yen, or 2.6%, to 955.
Toyota, the world's second-biggest automaker, added 40 yen, or 0.5%, to 7,840, while Sony, the world's No. 1 maker of video- game consoles, rose 50 yen, or 0.8%, to 6,230, and Honda Motor jumped 70 yen, or 1.7%, to 4,270.
Tokyo Electron, the world's second-biggest supplier of chipmaking equipment, lost 130 yen, or 1.5%, to 8,540, while Mitsumi Electric, which makes electronic parts, fell 90 yen, or 2.3%, to 3,870. NEC Tokin, a magnetic materials maker, plunged 100 yen, or 16%, to 537, while Alps Electric, a maker of car electronics and communication related equipment, slid 67 yen, or 4.7%, to 1,364.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended yesterday’s session up 13.62 points, or 0.11%, to 12,461.14, as US light crude oil for May delivery rose $2.08 to $61.69 a barrel.
Exxon Mobil posted the biggest gains with a rise of 1.54% to $74.36, closely followed by Procter & Gamble which climbed 1.41% to $63.85, while General Motors advanced 1.17% to $30.32.
3M Company added 1.14% to $77.78, while Verizon Communications climbed 0.88% to $38.01, although gains were limited by American International Group which slipped 0.7% to $68.21.
JP Morgan Chase was the biggest loser with a drop of 1.18% to $48.47, closely followed by Home Depot which dropped 1.06% to $38.33, while Intel slipped 0.93% to $19.16, and Microsoft declined 0.88% to $28.27.
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 Nyree Stewart on 020 7034 2681 or email [email protected]IFAonline
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