UK stocks open 0.4% weaker

UK stocks opened weaker on Friday after the British pound bounced back and engineering group GKN issued a profit warning.

At 0855, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 26.60 points, or 0.4%, at 7,529.64.

The pound's value has remained volatile amid uncertainty over the course of Brexit negotiations. A stronger pound makes UK stocks more expensive for foreign buyers and reduces the translated revenue of companies with operations abroad.

Engineering group GKN tumbled 9% after it warned profits would be only slightly above last year. It also revealed it faced two probable 'significant external claims' expected to result in a charge of around £40m in the fourth quarter.

Insurance group Aviva said it had agreed to sell its entire 49% shareholding in its joint venture in Taiwan to partner First Financial Holding Co. Its shares edged back 0.2%

Provident Financial was one of the market's biggest gainers, rising 9.6%, despite confirming that it wouldn't pay a final dividend. The sub-prime lender said it had developed a "home credit business recovery plan" under new leadership, but was still searching for a new CEO.

Specialist emerging markets asset manager Ashmore jumped 9.3% after announcing that its assets under management rose 11% to around $65.0bn in third quarter.

Fellow fund manager Man Group added 4.2% after its funds under management rose 28% year-to-date, buoyed by third-quarter net inflows of $2.8bn.