Aug 19 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen lower at open, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.05 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.1 percent to 6,868.96 on Thursday, in line with the broader risk-on mood across European markets.
* SAGE GROUP: Sage Group, already hit by an insider data breach this week, then found itself racing to shut down security lapses by more than 20 customers after a U.S. researcher uncovered stores of their corporate data exposed online.
* RANK/888/WILLIAM HILL: Casino and bingo hall operator Rank Group Plc and online gambling company 888 Holdings Plc have withdrawn their proposal to combine with rival British bookmaker William Hill Plc.
* BP: A prominent Texas lawyer was acquitted on Thursday of charges he made up thousands of fake clients to sue BP Plc for damages that the oil company caused in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, court records show.
* BP: Sky News reported on Thursday BP Plc is sounding out top investors on a new boardroom pay policy after a humiliating revolt this year saw a majority of shareholders vote against a 14 million pounds package for its chief executive. (bit.ly/2bMNa7Y)
* UK BANKS: A German politician said on Thursday he was trying to persuade foreign banks to make Frankfurt their home after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and outlined how Europe’s biggest economy wants to bolster its financial capital at London’s expense.
* METAL: London aluminum futures held near their strongest level in 13 months on Friday, propped up by firm demand and tighter supply in top market China. Copper edged lower, but was still heading for its first weekly gain in five after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s July meeting, released this week, showed policymakers were in no rush to hike rates.
* OIL: Brent crude oil prices dipped in early Asian trading hours on Friday, but remained near two-month highs with Brent still holding above $50 per barrel in a bull-run that has lifted the market by over 20 percent since early August.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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