(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London opened lower on Friday, after Thursday saw Wall Street's rally end in a record breaking session.

The FTSE 100 index opened down 13.93 points, 0.2%, at 8,424.72. The FTSE 250 was down 36.70 points, 0.2%, at 20,786.14, and the AIM All-Share was down 0.43 of a point, 0.1%, at 792.07.

The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.1% at 841.06, the Cboe UK 250 was down 0.1% at 18,132.09, and the Cboe Small Companies was up 0.1% at 16,315.05.

In European equities on Friday, the CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.3%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 0.4%.

In the US on Thursday, Wall Street ended lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.1%, the S&P 500 down 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.3%.

Wall Street had a see-saw session on Thursday, with the Dow Jones notching another landmark in a record breaking week. Before closing lower, the Dow had set a fresh all-time high of 40,051.05.

In China on Friday, the Shanghai Composite was up 1.0%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 1.1%.

Chinese industrial production picked up in April but consumption slowed, official figures showed, as woes in the property sector and elsewhere continued to weigh on economic recovery.

Industrial output rose 6.7% on-year last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, building on a 4.5% increase in March. The figure was higher than the 5.5% tipped in a Bloomberg forecast of economists.

However, retail sales growth – China's key gauge of consumer spending – continued to slow, expanding just 2.3% – down from 3.1% in March and lower than forecasts.

"The story of this month’s data is that of prevailing caution by households and the private sector, as retail sales and fixed asset investment came in weaker than expected," said ING economist Lynn Song.

In Japan on Friday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.3%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.9%.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2664 early on Friday in London, down compared to USD1.2671 at the equities close on Thursday. The euro stood at USD1.0862, lower against USD1.0870. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY155.77, higher compared to JPY155.26.

In the FTSE 100, Land Securities lost 1.4%.

Land Securities reported that revenue rose to GBP824 million in the year ended March 31, up from GBP791 million a year earlier. Pretax loss in the year narrowed to GBP341 million from GBP622 million.

Land Securities announced a higher total dividend of 39.6p, up 2.6% from 38.6p.

"Our continued operational outperformance, with rising occupancy and positive rental uplifts in retail and London, is driving robust like-for-like rental income growth and demonstrates the importance of owning and operating the best-in-class real estate," said Chief Executive Mark Allan.

GSK lost 0.7%, whilst Haleon was down 0.6%.

GSK said it has agreed to sell its remaining stake in Haleon, the consumer healthcare firm it spun out almost two years ago.

Brentford, London-based GSK said it has agreed to sell its 4.2% stake, around 385 million shares, in Surrey-based Haleon, which spun off from GSK in July 2022. The shares are priced at 324 pence each, raising GBP1.25 billion in total proceeds in the placing to institutional investors.

"Following settlement of the placing, GSK will have fully exited its position and will no longer hold any ordinary shares in Haleon," GSK added.

On London's AIM, Eqtec plummeted 18%.

The Cork, Ireland-based thermochemical conversion technology company said no funds have been received from Verde in regards to its GBP1.5 million subscription agreement. Therefore, it has terminated its agreement with Verde.

Cornish Metals rose 12%.

The Vancouver-based mineral exploration company noted the recent decline in its share price. Over the last five days, the stock has plummeted 34%.

Cornish Metals reassured investors and said that "it is unaware of any operational or corporate reason for the price movement."

Brent oil was quoted at USD83.57 a barrel early in London on Friday, up from USD83.05 late Thursday. Gold was quoted at USD2,383.50 an ounce, up against USD2,381.33.

Still to come on Friday's economic calendar, there is a eurozone inflation reading at 1000 BST.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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