The FTSE 100 index is down 7.8 points, or 0.12%, to 6,436.6 in early trading, as results data is overshadowing some positive broker notes.
Brewer Scottish & Newcastle is the biggest faller with a drop of 3.91% to 552.5p, despite announcing a series of cost cutting initiatives after it said the upcoming smoking ban would have a negative effect on sales.
Meanwhile, Rexam has slipped 3.22% to 526.5p, closely followed by Land Securities Group which is down 2.05% to £22.47, while Cadbury Schweppes has fallen 1.73% to 566.5p.
Intercontinental Hotels is also down 1.31% to £12.80, although losses are being limited by miner Kazakhmys which is up 1.24% to £11.40, while ICI has also advanced 1.69% to 482.25p.
However, the biggest gainer this morning is Hanson which is up 4.93% to 851.5p, closely followed by Drax which has added 4.15% to 689.5p, while 3I has climbed 1.78% to £11.75.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average was little changed at 17,939.12, after gaining as much as 0.1% and losing as much as 0.6%, as steelmaker shares advanced on speculation they will join the global reorganisation in the industry.
Nippon Steel, the world's second-biggest maker of the alloy, advanced for a third day, gaining 20 yen, or 2.6%, to 785, while Sumitomo Metal Industries, Japan's No. 3 steelmaker, jumped 24 yen, or 4.2%, to 591.
Tokyo Electric, Asia's biggest power generator, advanced 80 yen, or 2%, to 4,190, rebounding from a four-day, 5.3% drop, while NTT DoCoMo rose 5,000 yen, or 2.3%, to 220,000.
Elsewhere, Nissan Diesel Motor surged 80 yen, or 18%, to 523, after it agreed to Volvo’s takeover offer of $1.1bn, or 540 yen a share, which is 22% higher than Nissan Diesel’s closing stock price yesterday.
Hino Motors, Japan's biggest maker of heavy-duty trucks, jumped 32 yen, or 4.6%, to 726, while Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars, rose 10 yen, or 1.5%, to 667.
And in the US, the stock markets were closed yesterday for the national President’s Day holiday, and will not reopen until this afternoon.
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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