(Adds futures prices, company news items)
LONDON, April 17 Britain's FTSE 100 futures edged down
by 0.2 percent by 0620 GMT, with weak results overnight from Internet group
Google seen weighing on technology stocks. For more on the factors
affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up by 42.56 points, or 0.7 percent, at
6,584.17 points on Wednesday.
* DIAGEO :
Drinks group Diageo reported a 1.3 percent decline in third-quarter organic
net sales on Thursday, hurt by weakness in China and political instability in
* LLOYDS :
Lloyds Banking Group said private retail investors who held bonds issued to
rescue the bank during the 2008/9 financial crisis had agreed to swap them for
58.5 million pounds ($98.2 million) in cash.
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL :
Oil major Royal Dutch Shell announced an exploration discovery offshore
* MULBERRY :
Mulberry warned on Thursday that underlying profit for the year would be
marginally below current expectations, the fourth time in two years the British
luxury brand has lowered its forecasts.
* TAYLOR WIMPEY :
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey said strong sales had continued into the first
* RSA :
Insurance group PZU said it bought Lithuania's Lietuvos Draudimas
and Latvian AAS Balta from the British group RSA.
* THE CO-OPERATIVE GROUP:
Britain's Co-operative Group will report a loss of more than 2
billion pounds on Thursday, laying bare the full damage done by disastrous
acquisitions, a drugs scandal and an exodus of executives that have put its
future as a mutual into doubt.
* STANDARD CHARTERED :
Private equity firms Bain Capital and Carlyle Group are among first
round bidders for Standard Chartered's Hong Kong consumer finance unit, a
business valued at up to $700 million, people familiar with the matter said.
* BP :
BP Plc said the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday ended patrols and operations on
the final three shoreline miles in Louisiana, bringing to a close the four-year
cleanup of the Gulf Coast following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Blaise Robinson)