(Add futures, further company news)
Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen edging lower at the open on Friday,
with June futures on the index down 0.1 percent at 0625 GMT. For more on
the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 28.26 points, or 0.4 percent, at 6,703.00
points on Thursday, its highest close since March 7, though off an earlier peak
* WPP : The world's largest advertising group reported first quarter
like-for-like revenue growth of 7 percent, much better than expected, and said
it had seen a surge in new business wins due to changes in the industry.
* PEARSON : The education group said it made a "solid" start to the
year, although the strength of the pound against the dollar and some currencies
in emerging markets caused headline sales to fall 6 percent in the first
* TULLOW OIL : The oil exploration company said a well drilled off
the coast of Mauritania did not find any oil or gas in a second disappointing
result in the West African country.
* RETAILERS: British retailer John Lewis said on Friday its weekly
department store sales were up 20.5 pct in the seven days to April 19, boosted
by timing of Easter this year.
* BARCLAYS BANK : The lender will pay $280 million to Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac to settle claims that it sold them faulty
mortgage-backed securities during the housing bubble, a U.S. regulator said on
* HSBC : London's largest and most expensive office building,
HSBC's global headquarters, is up for sale and could fetch over 1.1 billion
pounds ($1.85 billion), a record price for the British market, the Financial
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : Patients taking Novartis' inhaled
medicine Onbrez Breezhaler for chronic lung disease had benefits similar to
those taking GlaxoSmithKline's Seretide, the Swiss drugmaker said on Friday,
citing a late stage study.
* TATE & LYLE : Shares in the food ingredients maker rose 1.9
percent to 669.50 pence on Thursday, with the Daily Mail attributing the move to
speculation Bunge, an agribusiness and food company, could be on the verge of
launching a 850 pence a share bit for the British firm.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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(Reporting by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)