UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 21
(Adds futures price, company news items)
LONDON May 21 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures contract was flat on Thursday. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 7,007.26 points on Wednesday.
* BANKS/FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Four major banks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and, with two others, were fined nearly $6 billion in another settlement in a global probe into the $5 trillion-a-day market. Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc were accused by U.S. and UK officials of brazenly cheating clients to boost their own profits using invitation-only chat rooms and coded language to coordinate their trades.
* ROYAL MAIL : Britain's postal firm Royal Mail said trading in its new fiscal year had started in line with expectations as cost cuts helped ease tough parcels trade to deliver a rise in full year profit.
* NATIONAL GRID : Britain's gas and electricity network operator National Grid reported an 11 percent rise in annual pretax profit, allowing the company to pay shareholders a full-year dividend of 42.87 pence, up 2 percent year on year.
* DARTY : Darty Plc, Europe's third-largest electrical goods retailer, said on Thursday that despite improving consumer confidence its markets remained challenging, particularly in multimedia. Continuación...