(Adds news items, futures) Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 13 points lower at 6,949 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1 seen down 0.2% ahead of cash market open.
* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca AZN.L said its COVID-19 vaccine contributed $275 million in sales and shaved off three cents per share from its first-quarter earnings, as the drugmaker reported better-than-expected results and forecast sales growth. BARCLAYS: Barclays BARC.L reported first-quarter profits more than doubled, despite not releasing cash set aside to cover bad loans from the COVID-19 pandemic as its British peers had done. DARKTRACE: British cybersecurity company Darktrace said it had set the price of its shares at 250 pence in its London listing, around the midpoint of the range, giving the company a market capitalisation of about 1.7 billion pounds ($2.37 billion). WPP: WPP WPP.L , the world's biggest advertising company, launched into open conflict with its founder Martin Sorrell on Thursday, refusing to pay share awards and accusing him of leaking client information to the media. OIL: Oil prices slipped, taking a breather after touching their highest in six weeks as economic recovery and bullish summer fuel demand outlook outweighed concerns of wider lockdowns in India and Brazil to curb COVID-19 pandemic. O/R
* London's FTSE 100 .FTSE closed flat on Thursday after hitting a one-week high hours earlier as a wave of positive corporate earnings from companies including Standard Chartered (LON: STAN ) and Unilever (LON: ULVR ) helped the blue-chip index outperform its European peers. .L
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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