(Adds company news items and futures)
July 26 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is expected to open 4 points higher at 7,493 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 down 0.1% ahead of the cash market open.
* PEARSON: Pearson PSON.L , the world's biggest education company, said on Friday it had traded well in the first half of 2019 and would stick to its revenue guidance, as its strategy to shift away from textbooks towards digital begins to pay off. VODAFONE: Vodafone VOD.L said on Friday it would move its mobile mast operations in 10 European markets into a new company that it potentially could list, in a move it said would unlock value for shareholders. COBHAM: The biggest investor in defence company Cobham COB.L , Silchester International Investors, said late Thursday that it did not consider a $5 billion offer for the company from private equity firm Advent International as 'compelling'. MOTHERCARE: Struggling British baby products retailer Mothercare Plc MTC.L said on Friday its annual underlying pretax profit would not grow, as it grapples with an uncertain and volatile home market along with fragile consumer confidence. AIRTEL AFRICA: Airtel Africa Plc AAF.L reported a quarterly pretax profit on Friday that more than doubled, as the telecom company signed up more customers for its mobile and data services. FOXTONS GROUP: Real estate agent Foxtons Group Plc FOXT.L posted lower half-year revenue on Friday, blaming a Brexit-driven downturn in the London market for a drop in house prices and fall in demand for lower-value properties. BRITAIN-BUDGET: Britain will hold an emergency budget in the autumn and hopes a more strongly growing economy will allow it to pay for spending pledges, a junior interior minister said on Friday. MOTHERCARE: Mother-and-baby goods group Mothercare Plc MTC.L is in talks to sell or franchise its UK store operations, Sky News reported on Thursday. ANGLO AMERICAN: Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, the biggest shareholder in mining company Anglo American AAL.L , said on Thursday he was divesting the nearly 20% stake he has held since 2017. IAG: British Airways, part of International Airlines Group ICAG.L , will resume flights to Cairo following a week-long suspension over security concerns, the airline said on Friday. OIL: Oil prices edged higher on Thursday supported by rising tensions between the West and Iran and a big decline in U.S. crude stockpiles, but gains were capped due to lingering worries about slowing economic growth that could reduce fuel demand. GOLD: Gold prices steadied on Friday after touching a one-week low in the previous session, buoyed by expectations of monetary policy easing from leading central banks, while investors awaited U.S. economic growth data due later in the day. NEW PRIME MINISTER: Boris Johnson promised on Thursday that Brexit would make Britain the greatest place on earth, echoing the patriotic rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump in his first speech to parliament as prime minister. BREXIT: French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss Brexit with Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whom he has invited to visit in the next few weeks, an official from Macron's Elysee office said on Friday. UK-IRAN: Britain has started sending a warship to accompany all British-flagged vessels through the Strait of Hormuz, a change in policy announced on Thursday after the government previously said it did not have resources to do so. The UK blue chip index inched lower by 0.2% on Thursday, with a slew of negative earnings readings from blue-chips including spirits company Diageo (LON: DGE ), while AstraZeneca was a stand-out performer after raising its 2019 product sales forecast. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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