(Adds news items, futures)
* IAG: IAG ICAG.L forecast only a minimal pick-up in capacity to 25% for the April to June quarter. IHG: InterContinental Hotels IHG.L said demand was picking up ahead of the U.S. summer season, with pandemic-driven trends such as staycation and the easing of curbs propping up an industry rampaged by the COVID-19 crisis. ST. MODWEN PROPERTIES: St. Modwen Properties SMP.L said private equity firm Blackstone (NYSE: BX ) has made a possible takeover offer of 542 pence per share. BARCLAYS: Sherborne Investors, the firm led by activist investor Edward Bramson, has sold its 6% stake in Barclays (LON: BARC ). INDIVIOR: Indivior INDV.L was hit by a shareholder rebellion at its annual meeting on Thursday over bonuses for its former CEO. CAIRN ENERGY: India has asked state-run banks to withdraw funds from their foreign currency accounts abroad, two government officials and a banker said, as New Delhi fears Cairn Energy CNE.L may try to seize the cash after an arbitration ruling in a tax dispute. BP: Woodfibre LNG said on Thursday it signed a second agreement to sell LNG from its proposed export plant in British Columbia to a unit of BP PLC BP.L . JOBS: Demand for workers from British employers soared this month at the fastest rate since the late 1990s as much of the economy reopened following the latest coronavirus lockdown, a survey of recruitment consultants showed. GOLD: Gold prices hovered near a 2-1/2-month high aided by a weaker dollar and a pullback in Treasury yields. OIL: Oil prices recovered after a 1% dip in the previous session on buoyant economic data from China and the United States. The UK blue-chip index .FTSE closed 0.4% higher on Thursday, boosted by heavyweight consumer staple stocks and positive earnings updates from Next and Melrose Industries. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: LIVE/
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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