UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Friday July 27
* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 23 to 25 points, or 0.5 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, extending the previous session's strong gains in tandem with leaps on Wall Street and in Asia. Hopes that central bank meetings next week will take - or at least point to - more steps to support struggling major economies underpinned the gains. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 74.84 points, or 1.4 percent on Thursday at 5,573.16 Thursday after European Central Bank president Mario Draghi pledged to do whatever was needed to preserve the euro, boosting sentiment among investors hoping for more decisive action in the single currency's debt crisis.
* BARCLAYS - The British bank, shaken to its core in the last month by an interest-rate rigging scandal, is bracing for more scrutiny on its plans to rebuild its brand and revive shareholder and customer confidence when it reports first-half results. For a preview, click on
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - The oil major said it is in talks to buy into liquefied natural gas producer InterOil Corp's Papua New Guinea exploration licenses and LNG terminal.
* GLENCORE, one of the world's largest commodities suppliers, has won approval from Australian regulators for its C$6.1 billion ($6 billion) takeover of grain handler Viterra Inc.
* JJB SPORTS - The British retailer's chief executive is to step down just weeks after its new chairman-elect took the reins, the Daily Telegraph reported on Friday.
* No major British economic data is planned for release on Friday, so investors will focus on a batch of U.S. pointers, with the second reading for second-quarter U.S. GDP due at 1230 GMT, and the final reading of the July Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment report scheduled for 1355 GMT.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
BARCLAYS posts first-half results.
ANGLO AMERICAN reports first-half results.
PEARSON unveils first-half results.
UNITED UTILITIES GROUP issues a trading update.
CARPHONE WAREHOUSE issues a first-quarter trading update.
SPECTRIS reveals first-half results.
UBM posts first-half results.
WILLIAM HILL unveils first-half results.
3I GROUP issues a trading update.
JARDINE LLOYD THOMPSON delivers first-half results.
MANGANESE BRONZE HOLDINGS reveals first-half results.
A G BARR issues a trading update.
RGI INTERNATIONAL issues a trading update.
PAYPOINT holds its annual general meeting.
CLONTARF ENERGY holds its annual general meeting.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Jon Hopkins; editing by Patrick Graham)
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