LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 65 to 72 points lower, or down as much as 1.1 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.6 percent lower at 6,461.70 points in the previous session.
* Britain’s water regulator Ofwat has cut the return it will allow the country’s water suppliers to make over the coming five years as it announced the final tariffs the companies can charge customers until the end of the decade.
* Annuity mis-selling may be a scandal on the scale of payment protection insurance (PPI), the Daily Telegraph newspaper said.
* Commodity stocks will be in focus after Brent crude continued its march downwards and dropped to a 5-1/2-year low of $63 a barrel, bringing this week’s losses to more than 8 percent amid persistent concerns over a global supply glut and a bearish demand outlook.
* China’s economy showed further signs of fatigue in November, with factory output rising 7.2 percent in November from a year earlier, slowing from October’s 7.7 percent. It missed analysts’ forecasts of 7.5 percent and marked the second lowest expansion since the depths of the global crisis in December 2008.
* SONGBIRD ESTATES - Songbird, the subject of a 2.6 billion pound ($4 billion) hostile takeover bid from a Qatari-led group, said it was too early to speculate on the intentions of the majority of its shareholders.
* BHP BILLITON - The iron ore giant expects Chinese steel consumption growth to slow next year and has already adjusted its strategy to cope with a supply glut that has caused global prices to collapse, executives said on Thursday.
* BELLWAY - The company said its operating margin is expected to be around 20 percent for the current financial year.
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 Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)