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July 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 20 points higher at 7,684 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.28 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* BT: Britain’s BT Group Plc reported a 1 percent rise in first-quarter core earnings to 1.8 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) thanks to its EE mobile unit and cost savings.
* PEARSON: British education publisher Pearson said it was on track to return to underlying profit growth this year after online courses and demand in the United States helped it report better-than-expected first-half results.
* JUPITER: Asset manager Jupiter posted first-half net outflows of 2.3 billion pounds ($3.01 billion) on Friday and said the operating environment was challenging.
* RECKITT BENCKISER: Reckitt Benckiser’s quarterly like-for-like sales rose 4 percent helped by its Mead Johnson acquisition, as the consumer goods company shook off the effects of the previous year’s cyber attack.
* ALLIED IRISH BANKS: Allied Irish Banks (AIB) reported steady first-half profits, lower bad loans and higher lending and capital on Friday as it continues to recover a decade after the country’s banking crash.
* BHP-BP: BP Plc has agreed to buy U.S. shale oil and gas assets from global miner BHP Billiton, for $10.5 billion, expanding the British oil major’s footprint in oil-rich onshore basins in its biggest deal in nearly 20 years.
* MELROSE: British turnaround firm Melrose is considering a series of sales of GKN businesses after clinching an 8 billion pound ($10.5 billion) hostile takeover of the aerospace and automotive parts supplier earlier this year, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* CENKOS SECURITIES: Activist investor Crystal Amber has told London-based stockbroker Cenkos Securities’ chairman to put the business up for sale, Sky News reported on Thursday.
* GOLD: Gold prices edged up on Friday but stayed close to one-year lows, with investors waiting for data later in the day on U.S. economic growth.
* OIL: Oil prices slipped on Friday in quiet trading after three days of gains, but took support from Saudi Arabia halting crude transport through a key shipping lane, falling U.S. inventories and easing trade tensions between Washington and Europe.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index ended up 0.06 percent at 7,663.17 points on Thursday, as a drop in heavyweight oil stocks weighed on the index, which lagged a broader rally across European stocks as U.S.-EU trade tensions thawed.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Siju Varghese)