UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday May 2
LONDON May 2 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to 5 points lower, or down as much as 0.1 percent on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index ended up by 0.4 percent, or 28.84 points, at 6,808.87 points, its highest close since March 4, buoyed by Lloyds while most other European markets were closed for a holiday.
* ASTRAZENECA - Pfizer and AstraZeneca have resumed talks about a trans-Atlantic merger of the two drug giants after Pfizer sweetened the terms of an earlier takeover offer for its British rival, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland is on Friday expected to report a quarterly attributable profit for only the sixth time since its 45 billion pound ($76 billion) government rescue during the 2008 financial crisis.
* MARKS & SPENCER - Marks & Spencer , Britain's biggest clothing retailer, launched a new online push on Thursday, targeting the 19 million customers a year who shop in its UK stores but do not use its website.
* BARCLAYS - Barclays PLC has named Andrew Jones and Eiji Nakai as co-chief executive officers for Asia Pacific, replacing the retiring Robert Morrice who oversaw the British bank's expansion in the region following the 2008 financial crisis.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
CAPITAL & COUNTIES PROPERTIES PLC TRADING
DIRECT LINE INSURANCE GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE
LAIRD PLC Q1 TRADE
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE
REXAM PLC TRADING
RENTOKIL INITIAL PLC TRADING
SMURFIT KAPPA GROUP PLC Q1
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 Alistair Smout; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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