LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - Financial bookmakers predict
Britain's FTSE 100 index to open down 20 to 25 points,
or as much as 0.4 percent, on Friday on persistent concerns over
Cyprus. For more on the factors affecting European stocks,
please click on
* The European Union gave Cyprus till Monday to raise the
billions of euros it needs to secure an international bailout or
face a collapse of its financial system that could push it out
of the euro currency zone. Talks with Russia possible funding
ended without a deal.
* The FTSE 100 closed down 44.15 points, or 0.7
percent at 6,388.55 points in the previous session, extending
its retreat from a five-year peak of 6,533.99 points hit earlier
* BP - The British oil company said it would launch
an $8 billion share buy-back programme to return cash to
shareholders after closing the sale of its stake in its Russian
* MULBERRY - The British luxury brand on Friday
warned on year profit again, partly blaming reduced tourist
spending in London stores for weaker than expected
* ESURE - The company said it had priced its London
listing at 290 pence per share, valuing the home and motor
insurer at 1.2 billion pounds ($1.82 billion).
* 888 - London-listed 888 said it had been granted a
licence to operate its online betting products in Nevada, the
first time an internet gambling company has been licensed in the
* HOMESERVE - The company says it is on track to
achieve its FY 2013 expectations and expects the UK customer
base to stabilise at around 1.9 million customers by March 2014.
* PHOENIX GROUP HOLDINGS - The company's 2012
profit rose 6 percent.
* Brent crude held above $107 a barrel, but was still on
track for a second straight week of losses, as Cyprus scrambled
to raise money to avert a financial meltdown that could disrupt
the euro zone's recovery and diminish its oil demand.
* London copper rose on signs of resurfacing Chinese demand
and a U.S. recovery, but worries over a Cypriot default and a
deepening economic malaise in the euro zone put the metal on
track for its biggest weekly loss in a month.
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Toni Vorobyova)