UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 1
(Adds futures, company news items)
April 1 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 45 points, or 0.7 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. Futures were down 0.7 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.5 percent lower on Thursday at 6,174.90, ending a weak first quarter on a downbeat note, although a recovery in mining shares helped it outperform euro zone indexes.
* SAINSBURY'S: British supermarket group Sainsbury's said on Friday its 1.4 billion-pound ($2 billion) offer for Argos-owner Home Retail Group had been recommended by the board of the catalogue retailer.
* DRAX: Power producer Drax Group Plc said it expects to report core profit for 2016 towards the top end of the range of current market forecasts, after signing a year-long contract with National Grid Plc.
* ARROW GLOBAL: Debt purchaser and manager Arrow Global Group Plc said it had agreed to buy InVesting B.V., a consumer debt purchaser and collections provider, for 78.5 million pounds ($112.6 million), giving it a "low risk entry" into the Belgian market.
* CO-OPERATIVE BANK: Britain's Co-operative Bank posted a loss of 610 million pounds ($875 million) in 2015, bigger than the 264 million pounds it lost in the previous year, as the lender battles to turn around its fortunes.
* UK HOUSE PRICES: British house prices rose at their fastest annual pace in more than a year in March as buyers of properties to rent and second homes tried to beat the introduction of a new tax, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Friday.
* OLD MUTUAL: Financial services company Old Mutual is preparing to sell its Italian wealth management unit as part of a wider plan to break up its business, cut costs and revamp earnings, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Continuación...