UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday May 2
(Adds company news, futures)
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, with futures roughly steady before the open. 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 - U.S. drugmaker Pfizer said on Friday it had raised its offer for AstraZeneca to 50 pounds ($84.47) a share, adding that the British drugmaker was reviewing the proposal.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - Part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland trebled its profit in the first quarter, benefiting from improved cost control and a reduction in impairment costs.
* INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP - InterContinental Hotels Group said it would return $750 million to shareholders and was considering selling off more hotels as it posted its strongest room revenue performance in seven quarters.
* 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.
* REXAM - The packaging company reported results in line with company expectations, but said that foreign exchange translation headwinds would weigh in 2014, cautioning also about metal premiums, which are at an all time high.
* RENTOKIL - The pest control firm said it was confident for the coming year after reporting a 7.6 increase in operating profit.
* DIRECT LINE - The insurance group reported a lower gross written premium for ongoing operations than this time last year.
* LAIRD - The technology company reported 7 percent higher revenue, in line with expectations.
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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