LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat on Monday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 7,070.70 points on Friday, not far from a record high of 7,119.35 points set earlier this month.
* UK ELECTION: Britain’s Labour Party on Sunday ruled out a post-election deal with Scottish nationalists after Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives said such a tie-up could spark the biggest constitutional crisis since the 1936 abdication of the king.
* LABOUR PARTY/STAMP DUTY: Britain’s Labour Party will announce a plan on Monday to scrap the stamp duty for first-time home buyers and give them the right to buy up to half of new homes built locally, as the party lays out its plan to tackle the country’s housing crisis ahead of next month’s parliamentary election.
* HSBC : HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, is weighing plans to spin off its British retail bank in a 20 billion-pound ($30.37 billion) deal, the Sunday Times reported.
* BARCLAYS : Barclays Plc failed to persuade a U.S. judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the British bank of defrauding shareholders about a private “dark pool” trading platform even as it was publicly pledging to clean up its corporate culture.
* BP : Britain’s outgoing government has told BP Plc that it wants the company to remain a British industrial champion and it would oppose any takeover of the oil producer, the Financial Times reported.
* BHP BILLITON : BHP Billiton is contesting A$522 million ($409 million) in Australian tax bills on its Singapore marketing operations up to 2010, after having paid almost no tax in Singapore since 2006, the global miner told an Australian Senate panel.
* RYANAIR : European budget airline Ryanair expects its fares to decline by between 10 and 15 percent over the next two years as it will pass on to travellers the benefits of lower oil prices, its chief executive said in a newspaper interview.
* OIL PRICE: Brent crude prices held near a 4-1/2 month high above $65 a barrel on Monday.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta)