LONDON (AFX) - Leading shares edged lower at open as excitement in the insurance sector following Standard Life's debut was offset by Friday's slump on Wall Street and caution ahead of the US earnings season, dealers said.

Meanwhile, Wall Street suffered triple digit losses on Friday, hit by a triple whammy of corporate profit warnings, record oil prices and disappointing jobs data which helped stoke fears the economy is cooling too quickly.

Shares in the debutant were at 241 pence in opening deals, up from its 230 IPO price but at the bottom end of a 210-270 pence range announced by the firm in June.

Turning to Asia, sentiment was mixed with the Nikkei closing for lunch down 181.58 at 15,126.03, while the Hang Seng ended the morning up 67.98 at 16,527.76.

Earlier this morning, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August, was at 73.70 usd a barrel, down 39 cents from 74.09 in late US trading Friday.

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