(Adds company news item)
Feb 24 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 4
points at 7267 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down
0.1 pct ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent lower at 7271.37 on
Thursday, depressed by Barclays stock after the bank reported earnings,
by mining sector shares and those trading ex-dividend.
* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland reported a sharp rise in losses on
Friday as higher misconduct charges and restructuring costs underscored the
challenges facing the lender nine years after it was bailed out in the world's
biggest bank rescue.
* WILLIAM HILL: British bookmaker William Hill Plc said on Friday
its annual operating profit fell 10 percent as challenging trading conditions
and unfavourable football results late in the year took their toll.
* PEARSON: Pearson, the global education company battling a
collapse in its biggest market, said it would take further costs out of the
business and look to sell some assets after posting a $3.3 billion pretax loss
and a sharp rise in debt.
* RIGHTMOVE: British property website Rightmove reported higher
2016 profit as more customers logged on to its sites to buy and sell houses, but
said traffic to its website generated fewer leads for brokers as the Brexit vote
dampened housing market activity.
* STANDARD LIFE: Insurer and asset manager Standard Life posted a
forecast-beating 9 percent rise in 2016 operating profit, helped by increasing
client diversification, it said on Friday.
* IAG: British Airways owner IAG reported operating profit in line
with expectations on Friday, and said it would increase cash returns to
shareholders through a stock buyback.
* PURPLEBRICKS: Shares in Purplebricks Group Plc rose as much as 19
percent on Thursday after the British online real estate agent said it would
enter the U.S. market, having built a leading position in a fragmented industry
* SHELL: Argentina's state-run oil company YPF SA said it reached
a preliminary deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc on Thursday to develop
oil and gas assets in the Vaca Muerta shale field, involving a $300 million
investment from Shell.
* 3I: Investment company 3i said it was looking to conclude the sale
of the struggling lingerie brand Agent Provocateur over concerns that the
business could face a cash crunch next week after staff are paid, Sky News
* OIL: U.S. oil prices fell on Friday after government data released late in
the previous session showed stockpiles rose last week for a seventh straight
week, although losses were muted as inventory growth was well below
* GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Friday near 3-1/2-month highs hit in the
previous session following tempered expectations of a U.S. rate hike in March,
and as investors awaited clarity on President Donald Trump's economic policy.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru)