LONDON, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 is set to edge lower on Friday, with futures on the index slipping 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed down 31.18 points on Thursday at 6,717.91, as miners were hit by disappointing Chinese factory data.
* Growth in China’s services sector fell to a four-month low in December as business expectations dropped, a government survey showed, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy lost steam into the close of 2013.
* Signs of soft Chinese demand saw London copper slide around half a percent on Friday, easing from a seven-month top as expectations of higher supplies and concerns over Chinese growth weighed on the market.
* NEXT - Britain’s second largest clothing retailer raised its annual profit forecast after fourth quarter sales came in significantly ahead of its previous guidance.
* HOUSE OF FRASER - The British department stores group expects to be listed by the end of the year even as it remains in exclusive talks regarding a potential takeover by its French counterpart Galeries Lafayette , the Times of London reported the chief executive officer of the department store chain as saying.
* BP - U.S.-listed Kosmos Energy announced it has entered into a rig share agreement with BP and AP Moller Maersk for drilling operations in Morocco.
* ASTRAZENECA - Probiodrug is to sell its CDK9 inhibitor programme, developed to regulate inflammation, to AstraZeneca for an undisclosed sum.
* APR ENERGY - The energy firm says it has renewed a 70 megawatt contract to supply diesel power in Botswana to its national electric utility.
* JOHNSON SERVICE GROUP - The textile rental and drycleaning firm appoints Chris Sander as its new CEO with immediate effect, and say it expects to announce full year profit before tax in line with expectations.
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