* Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 22 to 27 points, or 0.5 percent on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, looking to end a bullish third-quarter on a high. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 11.33 points, or 0.2 percent higher on Thursday at 5,779.42 lifted by gains in bank and mining stocks on talk of new central bank stimulus measures from the likes of China, and after Spain unveiled a crisis budget mostly based on spending cuts which was welcomed by EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn.
* Spain was set to remain in focus on Friday as Moody’s was due to publish a review of the country’s credit rating, possibly downgrading it to junk status.
Also on Friday, Spanish banks were set to learn from an audit the extent of the damage from the collapse of a real estate boom that left the sector with 184 billion euros in repossession and bad loans.
* BAE SYSTEMS - Germany and France may seek a combined 27 percent stake in a company to be formed from a planned merger of t he British defence contractor and Eu ropean aerospace group EADS <E ADS.PA>, but Britain would be opposed, the Financial Times Deutschland said.
Also, Airbus Chief Executive Fabrice Bregier said in an interview published on Thursday that it was essential to stick to an Oct. 10 deadline set by UK regulators for a plan for the merger of its parent with Britain’s BAE Systems.
* ELECTROCOMPONENTS - The electronics parts supplier warned on Friday of a drop in profits this year after increased discounting and a shift to low-margin products, including the Raspberry Pi computer, hit first-half results. [I D :nL5E8KS14B]
* G4S - The British security firm said both its chief operating officer and global events director would resign after an internal review into its Olympic staffing contract failure.
* SCOTTISH & SOUTHERN ENERGY - The multi utility said first-half profit is expected to be significantly higher than in the same six months in 2011 and it remains on course to achieve its principal financial objective for 2012/13.
* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE - The bourses operator expects that proposals to tighten collateral requirements will reduce net treasury income in the group’s next financial year, the group said on Friday.
* THOMAS COOK GROUP - The tour operator said booking trends in the summer lates market have been good and its UK turnaround plan is delivering with the group’s quarterly financial trend showing signs of improvement, and it continue to expect that the full year results will be in line with market expectations.
* MITCHELLS AND BUTLERS - The pubs operator said like-for-like sales growth improved to 3.0 percent in the 9 weeks to September 15.
* HARVEY NASH GROUP - The staffing group said it remains on track to deliver full year results in line with expectations.
* British consumer confidence edged up this month to its highest level since June last year as households grew less pessimistic about their financial prospects for the coming year, although consumer morale was still extremely low.
Polling company GfK NOP’s monthly consumer confidence index rose to -28 in September from -29 in August, in line with market expectations.
* No other important British economic data will be released on Friday, so investors will eye a big batch of U.S. pointers. August’s U.S. personal income and consumption numbers will be released at 1230 GMT, with September’s Chicago PMI due at 1345 GMT, and the final reading of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September scheduled for 1355 GMT.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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