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LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 15 to 17 points, or 0.2 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, after climbing to a 10-week high in the previous session. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were down 0.2 percent by 0634 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed 42.81 points higher, or 0.6 percent, at 6,839.25 points, its highest close since February 24.
* Britain’s economy will grow faster than previously expected this year and should exceed its January 2008 peak size in the next few months, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said on Friday.
* INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES GROUP - The owner of British Airways said its seasonal first-quarter loss narrowed by 46 percent, beating an consensus forecast, as a turnaround at its Iberia unit started to take effect.
* PETROFAC - Energy services group Petrofac warned its 2014 net profit would fall by as much as 11 percent to between $580 million and $600 million, due to a poor performance from its Integrated Energy Services (IES) division.
* RESOLUTION - The British life insurer said it would miss its full-year profitability target due to the annuities market reforms announced by Finance Minister George Osborne in his mid-March budget.
* WPP - The proposed $35 billion merger between U.S.-based Omnicom Group Inc and French rival Publicis Groupe SA has been called off as the challenges in forming the world’s largest advertising agency proved too immense for the partners. Now, with the merger off, the companies have surrendered their potentially dominant position to current leader WPP.
* British employers are offering higher pay as the pool of good job candidates dries up at its fastest rate in nearly a decade, according to a survey which may worry the Bank of England.
* German exports posted their biggest fall in nearly a year in March and imports also fell, narrowing the trade surplus in Europe’s largest economy and confirming that trade was a drag on growth at the start of 2014.
* Brent crude held steady above $108 per barrel, supported by renewed tension in Ukraine and continued limited supply from Libya, but still on track for a second weekly loss.
* London nickel prices surged beyond $20,000 per tonne for the first time in more than two years, climbing 4 percent as a flurry of supply concerns fuelled heavy buying of the stainless steel material.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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