(Adds company news items, futures move)
May 1 - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 80 points lower at 5,821 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 1.8% ahead of the market open.
* RBS: British state-backed lender Royal Bank of Scotland said its profits halved in the first quarter, as it set aside 802 million pounds against a likely spike in bad loans due to the coronavirus pandemic.
* INSURERS: Britain’s financial watchdog said it would urgently ask the courts to clarify uncertainty over the inability of some insurance customers to obtain compensation for disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
* BARRATT: Barratt Developments said on Friday it would restart work on its construction sites from May 11, with a significant proportion of its furloughed workforce returning to work before the end of the month.
* INTU: UK mall operator Intu Properties said on Friday it had secured debt waivers from its creditors until June 26 as it struggles to ride out a collapse in rental payments from retailers shut for the coronavirus lockdowns.
* RYANAIR: Ryanair on Friday announced it would ground more than 99% of its flights until July and said it had begun negotiations with Boeing about cutting the number of aircraft deliveries over the next 24 months.
* GREGGS: British baker and takeaway food group Greggs - famed for its sausage rolls and vegan snacks - has changed its mind about reopening 20 shops next week, fearing crowds of customers could gather, it said on Thursday.
* IAG: IAG-owned British Airways is seeking to lay off a quarter of its pilots as it slashes costs to weather the coronavirus crisis, according to a letter sent to their union and seen by Reuters.
* CORONAVIRUS: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday Britain was now past the peak of its coronavirus outbreak and promised to set out a plan next week on how the country might start gradually returning to normal life.
* BREXIT: Britain is confident it can get a deal on its future ties with the European Union if Brussels starts treating it as an independent negotiator, a source close to the British negotiating team said on Thursday.
* OIL: Oil prices rose on Friday, extending the previous session’s gains, as major producers began output cuts to offset a slump in fuel demand triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, while data showed U.S. crude inventories grew less than expected.
* GOLD: Gold prices gained on Friday as bleak U.S. data highlighted the economic impact of the coronavirus, but the metal was on track to post its biggest weekly decline in more than a month on hopes that the countries under lockdown will ease restrictions soon.
* The UK blue-chip index fell 3.5% on Thursday after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell cut its dividend for the first time since World War Two to cope with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, prompting an 11% plunge its shares.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru)