US shares drifted in a narrow range at today's opening as Wall Street digested a report showing a record trade deficit for October and awaited the end of a Federal Reserve meeting on interest rates. The Dow Jones slipped 0.12% to 10,625 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose a fractional 0.02% to 2,149 in the first exchanges.

The market was expected to react negatively to the record $55.5 billion US trade deficit in October. But investors were expected to remain on the sidelines as they await the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates due out later in the day.

European stock markets were mixed this afternoon, with London reversing initial gains and Frankfurt reaching a 29-month high point. London's FTSE was down 17 points to 4,720 just before 3pm, while the Paris CAC had gained nine to 3,815 and the Frankfurt DAX was up 16 to 4,235.

Dublin's ISEQ index was also up 29 points to 4,148 this afternoon, boosted by stronger banking stocks after National Australia Bank said it was selling its two Irish banks to Danish bank Danske for €1.4 billion. Among the other gainers today included Readymix, up five to 1.75, and CRH which gained 33 to €19.83