Theresa May lost control of the Brexit departure date on Thursday as EU leaders agreed a short postponement despite an appeal for a three month delay from the British prime minister.
Stocks on the Continent slumped on the back of data showing the weakest reading on euro area manufacturing for 71 months that pushed yields on long-dated German Bunds back into the negative and amid heightened uncertainty around the UK's exit from the European Union.
Stocks on the Continent have failed to track the strong gains seen overnight on Wall Street, hampered by the weakest reading on euro area manufacturing for 71 months that has pushed yields on long-dated German Bunds back into the negative and the ongoing heightened uncertainty around the UK's exit from the European Union.
London stocks were pummeled on Friday, even as the pound regained some composure after European leaders gave the UK a few more weeks to organise its withdrawal from the bloc, while weak German manufacturing data sparked global growth concerns, with the selling in shares extending across the Pond to Wall Street.
RPC's director of finance opted on Thursday to play it safe, selling a large packet of shares in the packaging supplier the day before Berry Group told the market that it would not be tabling a higher takeover offer, unless the company received a better bid from someone else.
Rate-setters in Moscow lowered their forecast for consumer price inflation and opened the door to a cut in official interest as soon as 2019.
London's FTSE 250 was 1. 35% lower at 19,086. 56 in afternoon trading on Friday, as oil and gas industry names led the index lower.
London's FTSE 100 was down 2. 1% to 7,199. 68 in afternoon trade on Friday, dragged lower by a stronger pound, as weak German manufacturing data weighed on sentiment.
Ladbrokes owner GVC Holdings was said on Friday to be preparing for the departure of chairman Lee Feldman, just days after he sold off a £6m stake in the company.
Home safety products supplier FireAngel Safety Technology Group announced on Friday that it is to supply smoke and heat alarms to a further housing association in Scotland.
Trading on Wall Street has gotten off to a volatile start with weak German manufacturing figures sparking worries about global growth, sending traders scurrying for the relative safety of the fixed income space, although some strategists continued to see gains ahead.
Peel Hunt initiated coverage of gold miner Centamin at 'hold' with a 95p price target on Friday, saying it sees a production recovery at the Sukari mine starting in the second quarter, but with an increased year-over-year cost base.
Activity in the US manufacturing sector hit a 21-month low in March, according to preliminary data released on Friday.
Independent oil and gas company i3 Energy has contracted Gardline to conduct a site survey for its 2019 and 2020 drilling programme, plus the pipeline route for its Liberator Phase I development, it announced on Friday.
Second hand sales of homes in the States rebounded sharply last month, bolstered by lower mortgage rates, growing incomes and improved consumer confidence.
London stocks extended losses by midday on Friday as the pound regained some composure after European leaders gave the UK a few more weeks to leave the bloc, while weak German manufacturing data sparked global growth concerns.
Debenhams shares collapsed 64% to 1p on Friday as the department store group announced plans for a new fundraising, bringing a swift response from its largest shareholder, Sports Direct.
US stock futures pointed to a downbeat open on Wall Street on Friday, with sentiment set to take a hit as weak German manufacturing figures sparked worries about global growth.
Markets in Asia posted underwhelming gains on Friday, after a choppy session in which investors were still trying to make sense of a more dovish Fed in the US, along with a fresh slew of data.
Rigid plastic and paperboard packaging company Robinson reported an 8. 7% jump in 2018 pre-tax profit on Friday, thanks in part to tighter control of operating costs, as it struck an upbeat note on the outlook for this year.