In London, the market seemed to have shrugged off some of the weakness in construction industry stocks seen on Thursday, when the Bank of England signaled a reduction in government support for mortgage lending.
LONDON (The Deal) -- The Netherlands became the latest European country to lose its triple-A rating after a downgrade Friday by credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's. But European markets remained relatively unmoved in early trading, and were equally unaffected by a decline in factory gate prices in France and weaker consumption figures from France and Germany.
In general, Europe appeared to be waiting for Wall Street to give a bit of direction after the Thanksgiving holiday. London's FTSE 100 was up 0.21% at 6,668.69, Frankfurt's Dax was almost unchanged at 9,388.32, and in Paris, the CAC 40 was hovering just above the 4300 mark at 4,302.03.
There was a mixed picture in Asia overnight. In Australia, Sydney's ASX 200 fell 0.2%, in part on the government's decision to block a $3.1 billion offer for grain handler Graincorp from Archer Daniels Midland (ADM - Get Report).
In Japan, the Nikkei retreated from Thursday's six-month high to close down 0.41% at 15,661.87. But in Hong Kong the market was up nearly 0.4% at 23,881.29.