- UK stocks opened lower on Friday after the European Union gave Theresa May an extra two weeks to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The pound pared losses, lowering the value of UK companies' offshore earnings, but remained volatile.

At 0841, the FTSE 100 was down 39.25 points, or 0.5%, at 7.316.06.

Industrial technology company Smiths Group climbed 1.9%, despite booking a 13% fall in first-half profit, as it revealed plans to spin off its under-performing medical business into a separately-listed company.

Royal Mail shed 0.6% after announcing that it had appointed its current deputy chairman Keith Williams to the chairman's role after considering internal and external candidates.

EasyJet gained 0.6%, despite stating that it may have to force non-EU investors to sell their shares in the company in the event of a no-deal Brexit, to ensure EU nationals had a minimum 50% stake.

Currently, EU nationals owned 49.92% of EasyJet, though EasyJet said it would target a 50.5% holding to maintain some headroom.

Component system manufacturer Senior added 0.5% on revealing that its aerospace division had been selected by Saab to supply components for the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system.

Fund administration services provider Sanne gained 0.6% after it posted a 5.8% rise in annual profit, driven by strong sales growth in the US and Europe.

Private equity investor LMS Capital dropped 3.8% as it swung to a loss owing to a slump in its investment performance.

Construction company Henry Boot gained 0.4%, even as it posted a small fall in profits and warned 2019 would be challenging due to Brexit.

Oxford Instruments won a global tender to supply its cryogenic equipment to the Institute of Physics-Chinese Academy of Sciences. Its shares were unchanged.

Packaging group Robinson jumped 9.3% despite it only posting a modest annual profit, as it forecast higher margins in 2019.

Solo Oil dropped 3.9% after it announced it was targeting acquisitions in Europe and North Africa to meet a new production target of at least 5,000 barrels of oil per day within the next three years. Story provided by