(Adds futures, news items)
March 12 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening 13 points lower at 6,724 on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures .FFIc1 down 0.39% ahead of the cash market open.
* BERKELEY GROUP: Berkeley Group BKGH.L reiterated its annual profit forecast as it benefits from pent-up demand and tax breaks for home-buyers. LOOKERS: Britain's accounting watchdog said it had opened an investigation into audits conducted by Deloitte of car dealership operator Lookers. HAMMERSON: Hammerson HMSO.L posted a 1.7 billion pound loss for 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic battered the retail sector. JD SPORTS: JD Sports Fashion JD.L has entered central and eastern Europe after agreeing to buy 60% of Poland's Marketing Investment Group. BURBERRY: Burberry BRBY.L said it had seen a strong rebound in sales since December. BARCLAYS: A judge ruled Barclays (LON: BARC ) will have to pay its own 33 million pound legal bill despite winning a case against British businesswoman Amanda Staveley's PCP Capital Group over how the bank negotiated a financial lifeline during the credit crisis in 2008. ASTRAZENECA: Washington has told the European Union that it should not expect to receive AstraZeneca AZN.L COVID-19 vaccines manufactured in the United States any time soon, two EU sources said. Separately, in a document seen by Reuters, AstraZeneca AZN.L cut its supply forecast of COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union in the first quarter to about 30 million doses. ECONOMY: Britain's economy shrank by a less severe than expected 2.9% in January from December, official data showed. COVID-19: British finance minister Rishi Sunak said the data showing a 2.9% drop in economic output during January showed how COVID-19 continued to affect the economy. TRADE: Exports and imports from Britain to the European Union plunged during the first month of the country's new trade relationship with the bloc, according to data published. INSURANCE: Motor insurance claims in Britain fell 19% in 2020 and rates stayed at a four-year low. GOLD: Gold prices retreated as firmer U.S. bond yields and a strong dollar weighed on the metal. OIL: Brent crude prices eased as production cuts by major oil producers constrained supply. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 0.2% higher on Thursday as firmer commodity prices boosted mining and energy stocks, while HSBC traded ex-dividend and AstraZeneca sank on doubts over its COVID-19 vaccine. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
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