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Fri Close: London falls back on weak US data

London turned red in late trade after weak US data wiped out earlier gains.

The FTSE 100 ended the session 0.18% lower at 6,960.49, firmly above its intraday low of 6,937.12 but well below the its daily high of 7,009.41.

US industrial production unexpectedly contracted last month, marking the fifth straight decline in output.

UK data from the Office for National Statistics showed that construction output jumped 4% in March after a 0.3% decline in February, more or less in line with predictions.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes lost early gains even though it hiked its dividend plans following a strong start to the year. Bovis said it now planned to pay out 40p per share, up from the 35p it had previously indicated.

SABMiller pleased with a deal to buy London-based modern craft brewer Meantime Brewing Company for an unspecified sum as it looks to diversify from its mainstream beer brands.

Among other sharp movers, ITV rose 1.7%, with JP Morgan, Barclays and Bernstein all raising their target prices for the stocks.

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