The FTSE 100 is down 35.8 points, or 0.56%, to 6,413.4, despite a rally by property companies on the back of the sale of HSBC's building in Canary Wharf.
Liberty International is posting the biggest gains with a rise of 2.73% to £12.42, closely followed by Slough Estates which is up 1.94% to 788p, while Hammerson has advanced 0.98% to £15.40.
Scottish & Newcastle has climbed 1.3% to 625p, while SABMiller has added 1.34% to £12.06, although gains are being offset by Northern Rock which has slipped 1.58% to £10.60.
Punch Taverns is the biggest loser with a fall of 2.76% to £12.68, closely followed by Hanson which is down 2.62% to 836.5p, while Schroders NV NON-VTG SHS ú1 has slipped 1.79% to £11.52, and Schroders has fallen 1.47% to £12.76.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slid 157.11, or 0.9%, to 17,243.30, as exporters declined on news personal spending has slowed in the US, hurting demand in Japan's biggest overseas market.
Among exporters, Sony, the world's largest maker of game consoles, dropped 100 yen, or 1.6%, to 6,320, while Honda fell 50 yen, or 1.2%, to 4,080, as it made more than half of its sales in North America.
Sumitomo Mitsui Financial declined 30,000 yen, or 2.9%, to 1.02 million, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan's biggest lender by assets, lost 10,000 yen, or 0.8%, to 1.24 million.
Elsewhere, Mitsui, Japan's second-biggest trading company, advanced 30 yen, or 1.4%, to 2,185, while Sumitomo, the third largest, rose 20 yen, or 1%, to 2,085, and Chubu Electric, Japan's third-biggest utility, fell 130 yen, or 3.4%, to 3,720 after reporting its annual net income dropped 24% to 90.6 billion yen.
Tokyo Electric, the nation's biggest power utility, lost 30 yen, or 0.8%, to 3,950, Ibiden, an integrated circuit package maker, slid 340 yen, or 5%, to 6,510, and Alpine Electronics, a maker of car audio equipment, tumbled 119 yen, or 6%, to 1,853.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 58.03 points, or 0.44%, to 13,062.91, as figures showed consumer spending in March increased just 0.3%, below the expected level of 0.5%.
American Express was the biggest loser with a fall of 2.37% to $60.67, closely followed by Intel which dropped 1.69% to $21.50, while Home Depot slipped 1.56% to $37.87, and Alcoa fell 1.39% to $35.49.
Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar slipped 1.55% to $72.62, although losses were limited by Verizon Communications which ended yesterday’s session up 0.77% to $38.18.
Procter & Gamble posted the biggest gains with a rise of 2.25% to $64.40, closely followed by 3M Company which added 1.5% to $82.77, while IBM climbed 1.03% to $102.21, and Coca-Cola advanced 0.25% to $52.19.
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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