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July 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen FTSE 100 down 20 points, or 0.3 pct lower, at the open on Friday, according to financial spreadbetters, with futures down 0.4 pct ahead of cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.4 percent lower on Thursday at 6,699.89 points, breaking a four-day winning streak, as airline stocks fell sharply in the wake of warnings from easyJet and Lufthansa.
* BREXIT IMPACT: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Friday Brexit meant the global growth forecast was revised down and that uncertainty from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union should be removed as soon as possible.
* Britain’s decision to leave the European Union threatens to undermine its position as a centre for drug research and UK patients could fall behind others in Europe in getting access to new drugs, Roche’s chief executive said.
* SAINSBURY: Britain’s competition watchdog said it was not going to refer supermarket chain J Sainsbury Plc’s 1.4 billion pound ($1.86 billion) takeover of Home Retail Plc for further investigation.
* VODAFONE: Vodafone reported a better-than-expected 2.2 percent rise in first-quarter organic service revenue, marking an eighth consecutive quarterly rise in its main growth measure, aided by a strong performance in Spain and Germany.
* ACACIA MINING: Gold miner Acacia Mining Plc said it expected to deliver at or above the top end of its full-year production guidance, as its mines performed ahead of expectations.
* BEAZLEY: Beazley Plc, a Lloyd’s of London insurer, reported a 3 percent fall in first-half pretax profit as premium rates declined for much of the large risk business the company underwrites in London.
* SPORTS DIRECT: British lawmakers said on Friday that Mike Ashley, founder and majority shareholder of Sports Direct, must be held accountable for what they called “appalling” working conditions and practices at the retailer’s shops and warehouse.
* HSBC: The U.S. government asked a federal appeals court on Thursday to block the release of a report detailing how HSBC Holdings Plc is working to improve its money laundering controls after the British bank was fined $1.92 billion.
* HSBC is reviewing a past investigation of forex trades after the arrest on Tuesday night of a senior manager in New York for alleged fraud, according to a source familiar with the matter.
* VOCALINK: MasterCard Inc said it would buy 92.4 percent stake in London-based VocaLink Holdings Ltd for about $920 million (700 million pounds) as the world’s No.2 payment network provider looks to strengthen its presence in the UK market. Vocalink’s shareholders include Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Co-op Bank.
* INFLATION: Bank of England asset purchases helped boost inflation after the financial crisis but its forward guidance has had no significant effect, research co-authored by Monetary Policy Committee member Martin Weale concluded on Thursday.
* ICAP: Former Barclays global head of electronic trading Tim Cartledge is seen as a leading contender to take the helm at ICAP unit EBS BrokerTec after Thursday’s announcement that Chief Executive Gil Mandelzis will step down, sources close to EBS said.
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> 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 Sanjeeban Sarkar, Mamidipudi Soumithri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)