- Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies in Italy
- Special Report: Syria's Islamists seize control as moderates dither
- End to Fed stimulus, China slowdown rattles swathe of world investments
- Arizona killer who asked for speedy execution found dead in cell
- UPDATE 2-Storm Barry heads for Mexico Gulf coast oil installations
UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Tues. Feb. 26
Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 96 to 101 points lower, or as much as 1.6 percent, on Tuesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The FTSE 100 closed up 19.67 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,355.37 on Monday, but lost the majority of its early gains in the lead up to elections in Italy, which delivered a parliamentary deadlock that threatened to blow Europe's largest debtor off the reform path.
* Italy's centre left said in a statement on Monday it has won the lower house and gathered more votes than its centre-right rival in the Senate in parliamentary elections.
* No important British economic data will be released on Monday, with little due all week aside from the second reading of fourth-quarter GDP on Wednesday.
SHIRE : The drugmaker gained on Monday on re-hashed bid rumours, with AstraZeneca again being talked of as a potential suitor, according to the Daily Express market report.
BP : A long-awaited trial over the biggest U.S. offshore oil spill began on Monday, with governments, businesses and individuals blaming BP Plc mostly for the 2010 disaster that killed 11 rig workers and spilled 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
A 102,500 barrel-per-day gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit remains shut at BP's 240,000 bpd Los Angeles-area refinery in Carson, California, after maintenance work was extended, according to sources familiar with operations at the refinery.
* BANKS: Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are planning to raise more capital via bonds that convert into shares in times of crisis, to help meet safeguards for taxpayers that are being demanded by regulators, according to sources.
* VODAFONE : British mobile operator Vodafone said it did not need to sell part of its stake in its highly profitable Verizon Wireless joint venture in the United States to bolster its business in Europe.
* IMPERIAL TOBACCO : The tobacco firm announced its intention to grow its dividend by at least 10 percent per annum in the medium term.
* GKN : The British car and plane parts maker posted a better-than-expected 19 percent rise in full-year profit, boosted by growth at its Driveline autos unit, which benefitted from rising car sales in the United States.
* ASTRAZENECA : The drugmaker announced results from long-term safety trial of Naloxegol in patients with opioid-induced constipation. The Naloxegol trial reported no imbalances in serious adverse events. The commercialisation and launch in the U.S. of the drug is subject to both FDA approval and DEA schedule determination.
* WHITBREAD : The pubs, hotels and coffee chain owner said it sees a slowdown in sales in the fourth-quarter after report 2.7 percent growth in like-for-like sales in the 11 weeks to Feb. 14.
* CRODA INTERNATIONAL : British specialty chemicals maker reported a 6.6 percent rise in full-year profit, riding on growth at its consumer care business, its biggest revenue contributor.
* ELEMENTIS : The chemicals maker posted sales of $757 million for year ended 31 December 2012.
* REDROW : The housebuilder is 'cautiously optimistic' on continued growth. Trading since the half year has been encouraging, with reservations up 8% on the same period last year and it expects to propose a modest final dividend at the year end.
* DECHRA PHARMACEUTICALS : The Animal health company Said its first-half pretax profit grew 54 percent, but warned that its core services unit had weak sales in January caused by a significant decline in footfall at veterinary practices.
* ROBERT WALTERS : The recruiter reports revenue of £567.8 million for year ended 31 December 2012.
* DEVRO : The sausage skin maker reported a 5 percent fall in full-year profit and said it was implementing further price increases to recover the higher than expected rises in raw material costs during 2012.
* RARE EARTHS GLOBAL : The miner warned on full-year profits.
* MWANA AFRICA : The precious metals miner upgrades its gold resource.
* ST MODWEN : The housebuilder has proposed a placing of up to 9.99 percent of existing issued ordinary share capital.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Written by David Brett)
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