LONDON Jan 17 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
slightly lower on Friday, with futures dipping 0.1 percent before the
cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 4.44 points, or 0.1 percent, at
6,815.42 points on Thursday, hovering close to its 2013 high of 6,875.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - Royal Dutch Shell warned on Friday
that its fourth-quarter figures are expected to be significantly lower than
recent levels of profitability because of current oil and gas prices and
problems in the downstream environment.
* BANKS - Britain's banks will have to shrink and sell off branches in order
to improve competition if Labour wins the next election, party leader Ed
Miliband will announce on Friday in a speech spelling out his agenda for
* TELECOMS - Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG and France's Orange
said on Friday they will maintain the current management structure of
their joint venture EE, putting on hold plans to float the largest mobile
operator in Britain.
* AVIVA - British insurer Aviva and Astra International
sign a joint venture in Indonesia, to serve the market in the country.
* SHIRE - The British pharmaceutical agrees to sell Dermagraft to
Organogenesis, saying it will record a loss on the disposal of approximately
$650 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
* WILLIAM HILL - The bookmaker said it expects group operating
profit of around 334 million pounds ($545.89 million), with net revenue
increasing 16 percent on a full year basis.
* RETAILERS - John Lewis saw weekly sales rise 9.5 percent in the
week to January 11.
* EVRAZ - Russia's largest steelmaker Evraz said on Friday its
fourth-quarter crude steel output rose 0.7 percent from the previous quarter to
4.0 million tonnes.
* SPECTRIS - The British industrial firm downgraded its forecast for
2013 operating profit.
* Brent crude slipped toward $105 a barrel as concerns over a rise
in supply from Libya and Iran dragged on prices, although an OPEC production cut
checked losses. Copper was barely changed.
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
For more information on Top News visit