(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON, March 21 Britain's FTSE 100
index is set for a slightly lower open on Friday, with futures
down 0.1 percent by 0730 GMT ahead of the cash market
open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please
* The UK benchmark closed down 30.69 points, or 0.5 percent,
at 6,542.44 points on Thursday. The index's decline leaves it
just 2 percent above an early February low, and down 3.1 percent
* Shares of companies with a big exposure to Russia could
come under further pressure after Washington extended sanctions
and Fitch revised the country's outlook to 'negative'.
Drinks cans maker Rexam, cigarette maker British
American Tobacco, and catering firm Compass Group
are among UK blue-chips with the biggest exposure to
Russia, according to data from index provider MSCI.
For a list of European blue-chips with the biggest exposure
* BP : BP has been sucked into the row over Russia's
annexation of Crimea with calls for the delisting from the
London Stock Exchange of Rosneft, the Moscow-based oil
company in which the British group has a 20 percent holding,
according to the Guardian.
* BG GROUP : The oil and gas producer is cutting
nearly 300 jobs in Britain and making significant cuts in
Australia, weeks after warning that turmoil in Egypt would hit
output this year and in 2015, the Times newspaper reported.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : A family have won a
landmark case giving them the green light to sue RBS for
millions over the alleged mis-selling of interest rate swaps
that ultimately left them with crippling borrowing costs on a 55
million pound loan, the Independent reported.
* BAE SYSTEMS : Europe's biggest defence contractor
on Thursday became the latest British company to enter the
debate on Scottish independence.
"It is clear that continued union offers greater certainty
and stability for our business," BAE's chief executive Ian King
said in the FTSE 100 company's annual report. BAE, which employs
3,600 people in Scotland, called its interests there
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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(Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Alistair