March 31 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down
19 points at 7,351 points on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.
* SMITHS GROUP: The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it will require
Smiths Group Plc to divest Morpho Detection LLC and Morpho Detection
International LLC's global explosive trace detection business for Smiths to
proceed with its proposed $710 million acquisition of Morpho from Safran SA
* JOHN LEWIS: John Lewis , Britain's largest department
store operator, is hopeful any downturn in consumer spending will see history
repeat itself with a "flight to quality" rather than consumers opting to trade
down, its new boss said on Thursday.
* BRITAIN M&A: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity involving British
companies remained relatively robust in the first quarter of the year despite
expectations of a slowdown ahead of the country's divorce from the European
* BRITAIN ECONOMY: British consumer morale steadied in March but households
remain downbeat about the outlook for the economy as the process of leaving the
European Union gets underway, a survey showed on Friday.
* BREXIT: The European Union will tell Britain on Friday how it aims to
negotiate its "orderly withdrawal" from the bloc, limit uncertainties for
businesses and pave the way for a close future partnership.
* OIL: Oil prices eased on Friday as traders took profits following three
days of straight gains on the expectation that an OPEC-led crude supply cut that
was initially supposed to only last for the first half of the year would be
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed down 0.06 percent at
7,369.52 on Thursday, with mining stocks providing the most support, while
stocks trading without their dividends weighed on the market.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
Chesnara Plc Full Year 2016
Sinclair Pharma Full Year 2016
Pantheon Resources Plc Half Year 2017
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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(Reporting by Siju Varghese; Editing by Sunil Nair)