(Alliance News) - Stock prices in London were lacklustre at midday on Friday, as investors eye the trajectory of interest rates across the globe.

Markets in Paris and Frankfurt failed to shine, too, despite data confirming that the eurozone's inflation rate was steady in April.

The FTSE 100 index was down 31.84 points, 0.4%, at 8,406.81. The FTSE 250 was down 117.22 points, 0.6%, at 20,705.62, and the AIM All-Share was down 0.98 of a point, 0.1%, at 791.52.

The Cboe UK 100 was down 0.3% at 839.14, the Cboe UK 250 was down 0.4% at 18,075.55, and the Cboe Small Companies was up 0.1% at 16,317.13.

In European equities on Friday, the CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.4%, while the DAX 40 in Frankfurt was down 0.3%.

The eurozone's annual inflation rate was steady in April, numbers on Friday confirmed.

According to Eurostat, yearly consumer price inflation in the eurozone was unmoved at 2.4% in April, where it had stood in March.

Core inflation, which strips out energy, food, alcohol & tobacco prices from the calculation, rose 2.7% on-year in April, easing from a 2.9% climb in March.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.6% in April, easing from a 0.8% rise in March. Core consumer prices rose 0.7% in April from March. They had surged 1.1% in March from February.

"Both overall and core inflation in the Eurozone are down sharply from their peaks, although they are still above the European Central Bank's target," analysts at Lloyds noted.

There will be one more CPI release before the ECB announces its latest interest rate decision on June 6.

Across the pond, Wall Street saw a mixed performance on Thursday, closing lower but hitting record levels across the day. Before closing lower, the Dow had set a fresh all-time high of 40,051.05.

Markets were optimistic thanks to US inflation data. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, the year-on-year consumer price inflation rate cooled to 3.4% in April, from 3.5% in March, as expected.

Stocks in New York were called to open lower on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index are both called down 0.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite is called to open marginally lower.

The pound was quoted at USD1.2653 at midday on Friday in London, lower compared to USD1.2671 at the equities close on Thursday. The euro stood at USD1.0843, down against USD1.0870. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JPY155.87, higher compared to JPY155.26.

In the FTSE 100, Land Securities lost 2.2%.

Chief Executive Mark Allan said: "Following a reset of values over the past two years driven by rising interest rates, the stabilisation in rates and evidence of continued rental growth is starting to attract increased investor interest for the best assets."

The comments came as the London-based commercial property development and investment company reported results for the financial year ended March.

Pretax loss in the year narrowed to GBP341 million from GBP622 million a year prior. Revenue rose 4.2% to GBP824 million from GBP791 million.

GSK lost 0.6%, whilst Haleon was down 0.7%.

GSK said it has agreed to sell its remaining stake in Haleon, the consumer healthcare firm it spun out almost two years ago.

Brentford, London-based GSK said it has agreed to sell its 4.2% stake, around 385 million shares, in Surrey-based Haleon, which spun off from GSK in July 2022. The shares are priced at 324 pence each, raising GBP1.25 billion in total proceeds in the placing to institutional investors.

In the FTSE 250, Tritax Big Box rose 0.2%.

Tritax reported increased rental income from development activity in the three months ended March 31, amid its merger with UK Commerical Property REIT.

The London-based real estate investment trust invests in large logistics warehouses. It completed the merger with its fellow FTSE 250 constituent on Thursday, following an agreement finalised in March for an all-share takeover.

Prior to the merger, during the first quarter, Tritax Big Box added GBP1.3 million to annual contracted rent from 0.1 million square feet of development lettings, it said, and a further GBP7.4 million was added to passing rent from 0.8 million sq ft of practical completions in the period.

On London's AIM, Cornish Metals shares partially rebounded 20% to 6.89p on Friday morning. The stock plummeted by 42% from 9.98 pence on Monday to 5.68p on Thursday.

The Vancouver-based mineral exploration company reassured investors and said that "it is unaware of any operational or corporate reason for the price movement".

Brent oil was quoted at USD83.39 a barrel at midday in London on Friday, up from USD83.05 late Thursday. Gold was quoted at USD2,384.90 an ounce, higher against USD2,381.33.

Still to come on Friday's economic calendar, Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is expected to speak.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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