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Dec 18 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 19 points lower at 6,532 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.24% ahead of the cash market open.
* INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP: International Consolidated Airlines Group ICAG.L has agreed to buy Spanish carrier Air Europa for 500 million euros ($612.55 million) with payment to be deferred until 2026, news website El Confidencial reported, citing unnamed sources. MORSES CLUB: Morses Club's MCLM.L first-half profit fell 76% to 2.3 million pounds ($3.12 million), with the British sub-prime lender hit by the impact of COVID-19, the company said. RESTAURANT GROUP: Frankie and Benny's owner Restaurant Group RTN.L said its first quarter of 2021 will be "extremely challenging" after tough coronavirus restrictions were announced in large areas of England to tackle the rising number of infections. BARCLAYS: Barclays ' BARC.L UK director and chair Ian Cheshire is stepping down from Jan 1 2021 to be succeed by Crawford Gillies, the bank said. INVESTIGATION: Britain's competition watchdog said it continues to have serious concerns about the funeral sector and that it may revisit its investigation when conditions surrounding the coronavirus crisis are more stable. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE gave up early gains to dip 0.3%, weighed down by losses in consumer staples. The domestically focussed FTSE 250 .FTMC gained 1% with investors believing the UK and European Union would bridge the gaps to a post-Brexit trade deal, while advertising firm WPP (LON: WPP ) jumped after an upbeat sales forecast. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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