UK stocks opened lower on Friday as US-China trade deal optimism began to fade and airline owner International Consolidated Airlines cut its earnings forecasts. At 0858, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was down 29.36 points, or 0.4%, at 7.377.05. British-airways owner International Consolidated Airlines descended 1.4% to 537p after it trimmed its medium-term earnings guidance for the three years from 2020 to 2022 amid a planned reduction in flying capacity. Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered shed 1.0% to 726.4p on announcing that it had reduced pension payments to chief executive Bill Winters and chief financial officer Andy Halford, following a large shareholder vote against its remuneration policies. Delivery company Royal Mail reversed 0.2% to 222.5p as it made an application to Britain's high court in an attempt to block planned strikes by its workers. Insurance company Beazley gained 5.5% to 567.5p on the back of 12% premium revenue growth in the nine months through September, amid a difficult claims environment marked by increased hurricane activity. Miniature war games manufacturer Games Workshop jumped 13% to £50.95 after it guided for a rise in first-half profit driven by a boost in royalty income. Specialist product manufacturer Morgan Advanced Materials fell 0.9% to 258.6p, on reporting that its underlying sales and operating margins had only moved up slightly in the first nine months of the year. Telecom technology company Spirent Communications shed 1% to 199p after it said it expected incur a one off $4m cost associated with hiring new managers and developing its sales and marketing capabilities. In a third-quarter trading update, Spirent also said it had experienced some order delays at its lifecycle service assurance division. Target Healthcare rose 0.8% to 115.74p on announcing that it had agreed to acquire eight care homes and 31 retirement apartments, in four separate deals, for a combined £81.3m including transaction costs. Fintech group TruFin dropped 5.8% to 43.8p after it reported a third quarter operating loss, despite seeing revenue rise 73% over the period.
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