UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday, August 16
LONDON Aug 16 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index was set to open slightly lower on Friday, with September futures on the index down 0.2 percent at 0627 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index suffered its biggest daily fall in nearly two months on Thursday as it shed 104.09 points, or 1.6 percent, to close at 6,483.34 points, as strong retail sales reignited the chance of an earlier-than-expected interest rate rise that could push traders back into bonds from equities.
* U.S. stocks also had the biggest one-day percentage drop since late June on Thursday on the back of poor results from Wal-Mart and Cisco and speculation the Federal Reserve's monetary stimulus programme could be trimmed early.
* GENERAL RETAILERS : British retailer John Lewis said on Friday total sales in the week to August 10 were up 3.8 percent year on year.
* BP : The oil major said on Thursday it was evacuating some workers from its oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico as a low-pressure system threatened to strengthen into a cyclone.
* ESSAR ENERGY : The oil company said on Friday its Stanlow throughput dropped slightly in the first quarter.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : The state-backed lender has been thwarted in its efforts to block the 230 million pound ($357.8 million) takeover of Ideal Stelrad, Britain's biggest boiler and radiator manufacturer, Sky News reported on Friday.
* SAGE GROUP : Paul Harrison will step down as the software company's chief financial officer on Friday, the group said.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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