UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 17

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UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 17
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LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE index is seen opening around 12 points or 0.2 percent lower on Friday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.6 percent at 6,796.45 points on Thursday, lagging a 1.5 percent rise for the Euro STOXX 50 .STOXX50E , with peripheral euro zone markets benefitting from a drop in yields after the dramatic vote in the Greek parliament.

* GREECE - Europe moved to re-open funding to Greece's stricken economy on Thursday after the parliament in Athens approved a new bailout programme in a fractious vote that left the government without a majority.

Britain said it had secured a legally binding deal with other European Union countries to fully protect any British money used in a 7 billion euro bridge loan to Greece.

* BANK OF ENGLAND - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday that the decision to hike interest rates from record low levels would come into "sharper relief" around the turn of this year. Carney reiterated that interest rate rises, when they come, would be gradual and to levels "about half as high as historical averages".

* IAG ICAG.L - British Airways-owner IAG's takeover of Aer Lingus AERL.I moved closer on Thursday as the U.S. regulator gave its approval and the Irish carrier's shareholders backed special resolutions linked to the deal. Investors in Aer Lingus now have until 1200 GMT, July 30, to accept the 1.3-billion-euro ($1.4 billion) offer, after IAG extended the deadline.

* BARCLAYS BARC.L - Wall Street's self-funded watchdog fined a unit of Barclays $800,000 for violations related to how the bank reported stock trades over a more than two-year period, hampering the regulator's ability to properly monitor the market.

* MARKS & SPENCER'S MKS.L - John Dixon, the head of Marks & Spencer's non-food division, is to leave Britain's biggest clothing retailer to become chief executive of another firm, M&S said on Thursday. The company said that in line with its succession plans, Steve Rowe, the current boss of its food business will take on responsibility for general merchandise.

* 888 HOLDINGS PLC 888.L - Online gambling firm 888 Holdings said it would buy peer Digital Entertainment BPTY.L in a cash and stock deal valued at about 898 million pounds ($1.40 billion).


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