UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 22
July 22 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index .FTSE is seen opening higher on Friday, with futures FFIc1 up 0.3%.
* HSBC: HSBC HSBA.L has agreed to sell its Russia business to Expobank, signing a deal shortly before Moscow said it would move to block the sale of foreign banks' Russian businesses in retaliation for restrictions imposed on its own lenders.
* FIRSTGROUP: FirstGroup FGP.L suitor I Squared has been given a deadline of Aug. 18 by the UK Takeover Panel to make a firm offer or walk away, the British transport firm said on Thursday.
* SFO: Failings at Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) were in the spotlight on Thursday as a government-ordered review laid bare the agency's missteps in a high-profile bribery case as a London court simultaneously quashed a third criminal conviction.
* CONSUMER SENTIMENT: British consumers' confidence remained stuck at a record low this month in the face of surging inflation and higher interest rates, a survey showed on Friday.
* OIL: Oil prices were roughly unchanged in early trading on Friday after sliding around 3% in the previous session on weakened demand in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, and a pick-up in supply from Libya.
* GOLD: Gold prices edged lower on Friday, as an uptick in the U.S. dollar and fears over aggressive rate hikes by major central banks to tame inflationary pressures dented bullion's appeal.
* UK's FTSE 100 crawled higher on Thursday as gains in financial stocks offset the weakness in energy and healthcare shares, while positive corporate earnings reports supported the mid-cap index.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY: JD Sports
AGM update Beazley
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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Reporting by Muhammed Husain in Bengaluru
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