StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Friday as persistent trade-war fears continued to unsettle global markets.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 15.23 points, or 0.2%, at 7.184,27 on what was a particularly quiet day for company announcements.

In the large-cap space, budget airline EasyJet said it carried 3.4% more passenger in March on-year, while also boosting load factors. Its shares forged 0.3% higher.

Vehicle retailer Motorpoint group revved 8.4% higher after it announced earnings were expected to hit the top end of market forecasts.

Shield Therapeutics jumped 29% after the company revealed minutes from a US Food and Drug Administration meeting indicated it could re-submit a new application for its iron deficiency treatment without having to conduct additional trials. The shares, however, are still down more than 80% this year.

Components maker Gooch & Housego slumped 4.6% after it said earnings would be weighted to the second half, amid lower demand for key products since the start of the year.

Equipment rental group Vp gained 3.7% as it forecast annual results in line with market expectations amid 'strong progress' over the winter period.

Quadrise Fuels International tumbled 20% after announcing that a key project in Saudi Arabia that was supposed to trial its fuel technology was unlikely to proceed as planned.

Shares in broadcast software minnow Pebble Beach Systems Group doubled in value as the company said it had agreed to new terms with lender Santander that included a 'simplification' of its banking covenants.

Greece-focused investor Minoan Group slipped 11% on the back of news it would sell its travel business as annual losses deepened.

LondonMetric Property said it had acquired five urban logistics warehouses for £25.6m and solid a regional warehouse in Doncaster for £15.0m. Its shares gained 0.4%.

Local Shopping REIT fell 1.2% after it offloaded 18 properties at a discount to their carrying value to trim debt. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com