* Britain's FTSE 100 index is set to open 6 to 7 points lower, or as much as 0.1 percent, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's FTSE 100 scaled three-week highs on Thursday, closing up 1.2 percent, or 67.02 points, at 5,870.30, cheered by promises of spending cuts at miner Rio Tinto and by growing hopes of achieving a U.S. budget deal to avoid recession in the world's biggest economy.
* London copper edged up on Friday, bracing to finish the month higher on signs that a recovery in China's economic growth took root in November, although worries over Europe and the United States kept gains constrained.
* There is no important economic data out of the UK on Friday, while in the U.S. focus will rest on consumer spending figures due out at 1330 GMT and Chicago PMIs at 1445 GMT, as investors try to gauge the health of the world's largest economy.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - Royal Bank of Scotland could be forced to explore the sale of businesses considered "core" to its operations after the Bank of England increased the pressure on lenders to raise new capital, writes the Telegraph.
BARCLAYS BANK - The UK lender said on Thursday it was prepared to fight a proposed $470 million fine for alleged manipulation of the electricity market.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
ACAL posts first-half results.
STHREE has a trading update.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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