UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday March 14

Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:26am EDT

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LONDON, March 14 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 20 to 22 points, or 0.3 percent, on Friday, according to financial bookmakers.

* Futures on the index were down 0.5 percent ahead of the cash market open.

* The UK blue chip index closed 1 percent lower on Thursday at 6,553.78 points, weighed down by food retailers and hitting a new one-month low on growing concerns about a conflict in the Ukraine and jitters in the Chinese credit market.

* PHARMACEUTICALS - Britain is to accelerate access to ground-breaking drugs for serious conditions under a new early-access plan that the government hopes will benefit both patients and pharmaceutical companies.

* BP - The U.S. government lifted a ban on Thursday that excluded BP from new federal contracts, after the British oil major filed a lawsuit saying it was being unfairly penalized for its 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill.

* BARCLAYS - Barclays is reviewing the size and shape of its investment bank, in a review that is expected to result in it shrinking and focusing on its most profitable areas, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

* Rising geopolitical tensions un Ukraine helped push gold to a six month high and pushed Brent oil towards $108, while copper was set for its biggest weekly fall in 11 months.

* JD WETHERSPOON - The pub operator's first half profit before tax increased by 8.5 percent, with the company saying it continues to expect a reasonable outcome in the current financial year.

* STHREE - The staffing firm said on Friday its group gross profit was up 9 percent year on year, boosted by a strong seasonal recovery in contractor runners.

* GULF MARINE SERVICES - Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine Services set the price for its flotation at 135 pence per share on Friday, giving the firm a market capitalisation of around 472 million pounds ($787.1 million).

TODAY'S UK PAPERS

> Financial Times

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