StockMarketWire.com - UK stocks opened lower on Friday after markets were spooked by Italian plans to dramatically increase government spending and US-China trade tensions continued to simmer.

At 0856, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 7.94 points, or 0.1%, to 7.537.50.

Security services company Serco rallied 15% on a profit upgrade pinned on efficiency gains and lower-than-expected settlements for ended contracts.

Low-cost airline easyJet ascended 1.1% as it forecast annual profit at the top end of a previous guidance range, citing robust passenger growth.

RSA Insurance slumped 7.7% as higher weather claims drove its UK business to a loss in the third quarter and year-to-date premium revenue fell.

Water group United Utilities said it expected to report a rise in first-half revenue, though it had also spent an extra £80m to cope with higher demand following a spell of hot and dry weather. Its shares drifted 0.1% lower.

Real estate investor Shaftesbury said trading had been 'robust' over the summer months at its portfolio in London's West End. Its shares, however, weakened by 0.2%.

3i Infrastructure gained 0.5% after announced it remained on track to deliver its full-year dividend target.

Residential property group Grainger was broadly flat as it boosted rental income by 3.1% so far this year.

Small restaurant company Richoux dropped 11% after it blamed tough sector conditions for a first-half loss, and said trading wasn't expected to improve in the second half.

Story provided by StockMarketWire.com