(Adds futures, company news)
LONDON May 16 Britain's FTSE 100 index
is seen inching higher on Friday, with the June futures contract
up 0.2 percent by 0633 GMT ahead of the cash market
open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index ended down 37.60
points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,840.89 on Thursday after it reached
a 14-year high earlier in day, led down by airlines on
profit-taking after a strong rally, with their pullback
underscoring fears over the outlook for broader share prices.
* Lofty valuations are stopping investors from putting more
money to work in equities. The FTSE 100 is trading on a 12-month
forward price/earnings ratio of 13.7 times, against its 10-year
average of 11.7 times, Thomson Reuters Datastream shows.
* WM MORRISON : The supermarket's rise on Thursday
was helped by mounting speculation that a U.S.-led private
equity consortium was weighing a 6.4 billion pound ($10.8
billion), or 275 pence a share, cash offer, the Daily Mail's
market report said.
The firm is also the fifth most shorted stock on the UK
benchmark, with 6.4 percent of its shares out on loan, data from
* INTERTEK GROUP : The testing firm said it expects
to see an improvement in revenue growth and profitability in the
second half of the year, after it posted a 3.6 percent rise in
group revenue in the first quarter.
* BARCLAYS : Barclays will issue at least $1 billion
of new bonds that can convert into shares if the bank hits
trouble under an offer to debt investors to exchange old bonds
for new securities.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Hundreds more investors
have jumped aboard an unprecedented group action against RBS,
alleging they were misled during a record rescue cash call in
2008, and are claiming damages of roughly 4 billion pounds.
* CARPHONE WAREHOUSE : Europe's biggest independent
mobile phone retailer said it and the other shareholders of the
Virgin Mobile business in France have agreed to sell the venture
to Numericable Group for an enterprise value of 325
million euros ($445.8 million).
* BOVIS HOMES GROUP : The housebuilder said that
private reservations jumped 78 percent for 2014 delivery.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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($1 = 0.5954 British Pounds)
($1 = 0.7291 Euros)
(Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Lionel Laurent)