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LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 headed for a steady open on Friday after gaining in the previous two sessions, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.3 percent higher at 6,630.47 points on Thursday. However, it remained on course to record its worst week in a month.
* Futures for the index were down 0.2 percent by 0626 GMT.
* UK BANKS - Fifteen of the world’s largest banks, including Barclays , HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered , are under investigation on suspicion of rigging the Brazilian currency, antitrust watchdog Cade said on Thursday.
* HSBC - Dutch lender ING Group is set to win the auction to buy HSBC’s Turkish business, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
* CENTRICA - An unplanned outage at Centrica’s North Morecambe gas field has stopped production due to a technical process issue, with flows expected to resume at midday, Centrica said in a market message.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The Financial Times reported that the bank could have to pay $13 billion to resolve allegations that it misled buyers of mortgage-backed securities. Lawyers representing U.S.’s FHFA demanded that RBS and Nomura Holdings Inc, another bank involved, post bonds to guarantee payment of $806 million, which a U.S. judge had approved earlier.
* London copper was set for a second weekly rise on Friday, underpinned by prospects of a demand recovery later in the year and as short holders closed positions, but traders said concerns over Greece and slowing growth in China would crimp gains.
* Oil prices dropped as a rising U.S. rig count stoked fears of oversupply and after Chinese regulators opened an investigation into suspected stock market manipulation.
* Stocks in Shanghai slumped more than 6 percent on Friday before partly recovering, taking total losses at one point to nearly 30 percent since a peak on June 12. The rout in China’s stock markets has wiped out trillions of dollars of market capitalization in Shanghai and Shenzhen’s stock markets.
* Focus will be on Greece’s Sunday referendum on an international bailout deal that could ultimately determine whether it stays or not in the euro zone. The International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that Greece would need an extension of its European Union loans and a potentially a large debt writeoff if it cannot implement economic reforms and its growth slows.
* An opinion poll on Greece’s bailout referendum published on Friday pointed to a slight lead for the Yes vote, on 44.8 percent, against 43.4 percent for the No vote that the leftwing government backs.
* U.S. markets are closed on Friday in observance of Independence Day.
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)