* FTSE slips 0.1 pct, posts biggest weekly loss since April
* Tullow, Burberry among top fallers
* AstraZeneca stages late bounce on Pfizer deal speculation
* UK stock market shut on Monday
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, May 23 Britain's top equity index
slipped on Friday to record its biggest weekly loss in more than
a month, led by selloffs in oil group Tullow and luxury brand
AstraZeneca bucked the downtrend as traders placed
speculative bets on a deal with U.S. suitor Pfizer Inc
ahead of Monday's offer deadline.
Shares in Tullow fell 1.2 percent as the oil
explorer said one of its wells in Ethiopia hit water. The stock
has lost more than a third of its value since 2013 following a
string of disappointing exploration updates.
"It's another disappointing result in East Africa for Tullow
and the market, in our view, already prices in success above the
existing discoveries in this region," Brian Gallagher, an
analyst at Investec, said.
"This mean that Tullow needs to start finding the mark soon
or the upside assumption could soon be challenged."
The FTSE 100 closed 0.1 percent lower at 6,815.75
points, recording a 0.6 percent fall on the week, the steepest
since April 10.
Luxury group Burberry, down 1.7 percent, was among
top FTSE fallers as a price target cut and gloomy comments by
Exane reignited concerns about the brand, which is heavily
exposed to volatile emerging market currencies.
Shares in AstraZeneca, however, rose 1.2 percent after
staging a late bounce. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer's
latest takeover offer expires on May 26, after which the U.S.
group would have to wait six months before making another bid.
"The market is pricing in a cheap call for something to
happen over the weekend," a trader in London said.
Appetite for European shares has been sapped by uncertainty
over the outcome of EU parliamentary elections, in which strong
performances by Eurosceptic parties could undermine governments'
efforts to move towards greater integration.
Shares in Italy and Greece are likely to come under pressure
if Eurosceptic parties gain ground in the European polls.
"The effect on the UK markets is to exacerbate the
traditional risk-off into a long weekend, especially when the
United States is also off," Mike van Dulken, head of research at
Accendo Markets, said.
The market shrugged off early indications that Britain's
anti-EU UKIP party had made widely anticipated gains in local
"UKIP may win the European parliament elections by tapping
into anti-EU, anti-immigration sentiment," analysts at Berenberg
wrote in a note.
"But that is a protest vote. European election voter turnout
is low, the parliament is of limited relevance, and governments
often get a kicking in mid-term elections."
(Additional reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Ruth