LONDON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening higher on Friday, with futures up 0.5 percent at 0634 GMT before the cash market open, bolstered by the prospect of U.S. politicians reaching a deal on the country’s debt ceiling. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* President Barack Obama and Republican leaders appeared ready to end the deadlock after meeting at the White House on Thursday. Talks continued into the night and one senior Republican said an agreement could come on Friday, though hurdles remain.
* Optimism over a breakthrough on the U.S. fiscal impasse helped lift the UK blue-chip index up 92.58 points, or 1.5 percent, at 6,430.49 points on Thursday, seeing its biggest one-day percentage gain since July. The index had fallen to its lowest level since July 4 on Wednesday.
* ROYAL MAIL: Britain sold a majority stake in Royal Mail at 330 pence a share on Thursday following massive investor interest that values the postal service company, known worldwide for its iconic red postboxes, at 3.3 billion pounds ($5.3 billion).
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : The bank has sold its Australian operations to Westpac.
* WHITBREAD : Shares in the leisure company rose on Thursday, helped by revived speculation it might soon decide to hive off its Costa Coffee business, according to the Daily Mail market report.
* CHEMRING : The British military equipment maker warned that it would take an 8 million pound ($12.8 million) hit to 2013 operating profit from continuing production and quality problems, and that it saw 2014 performance behind this year‘s.
* ASTRAZENECA : The drugmaker has signed a deal to co-promote Johnson & Johnson’s novel prostate cancer medicine in Japan, giving the British company a new drug revenue stream and bolstering its Japanese presence.
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