UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 24

viernes 24 de abril de 2015 02:31 GYT

(Adds futures, company news)

LONDON, April 24 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen edging higher at the open on Friday, with June futures on the index up 0.3 percent at 0630 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The FTSE 100 closed up 0.4 percent at 7,053.67 points, near a record high of 7,119.35 reached on April 16. The index is up 7.4 percent so far in 2015.

* UK ELECTIONS - Business leaders have become frustrated at the tactics and tone of the Conservative election campaign. Twenty FTSE 100 and other business leaders told the Financial Times that they are anxious that despite presiding over an economic recovery, David Cameron has not opened a lead over Labour. (

* ASTRAZENECA - AstraZeneca's sales fell by a slightly less-than-expected 6 percent in the first quarter, hit by the launch of generic copies of its popular stomach acid pill Nexium in the vital U.S. market and the strong dollar.

The drugs group is braced for dissent from leading investors over executive pay almost a year after it saw off a 69 billion pounds takeover bid from Pfizer, Sky News reported late on Thursday. The FTSE-100 drugs giant will be the subject of a modest shareholder revolt at its annual meeting on Friday. (

* RECKITT BENCKISER - Reckitt Benckiser Group reported higher quarterly sales on Friday, helped by growth across all regions, and stood by its full-year target.

* LLOYDS BANKING - The size of the stake owned by British taxpayers in Lloyds Banking Group has fallen by a further 1 percent to below 21 percent, the government agency in charge of managing the interest said on Friday.

* BAE SYSTEMS - Europe's biggest defence contractor BAE Systems said it had commenced an assessment of its U.S.-based manpower and services businesses in its Intelligence and Security divisions.   Continuación...