The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening lower on Friday, tracking weakness overnight in Asia, after posting sharp losses in the previous session, with traders reluctant to put money on to the table going into the weekend as Europe battles to prevent its debt situation from deteriorating.

Spain fell under the spotlight on Thursday when it had to pay the highest rate to sell its 10-year debt since 1997, just shy of the 7 percent mark seen as unsustainable in the long run, as the country was swept deeper into the euro zone's debt crisis ahead of a Parliamentary election on Sunday.

The UK benchmark looks set to fall 63 to 68 points, or as much as 1.3 percent, according to financial bookmakers, after it ended down 85.88 points, or 1.6 percent at 5,423.14 on Thursday.

This continuous trickle of negative news very much seems like death by a thousand cuts, with no remedy in sight, Zahid Mahmood, senior dealer at Capital Spreads, said.

He added that there is every chance the market will continue its sell-off today given there is very little in the way of key economic news and, under such circumstances, markets tend to continue along their recently established trends.

There is nothing in the way of major domestic economic data scheduled for release in the UK on Friday, while U.S. data includes October lead indicators, due at 3 p.m. British time.

UK stocks to watch on Friday are:

BANKS

Britain's banks have shrunk their lending exposure to peripheral euro zone counterparts by a quarter in just three months as concern has deepened about the intensifying crisis on the continent, the Financial Times said.

BHP BILLITON

BHP Billiton is set to disrupt Canpotex, the world's biggest potash exporter by volume, by keeping a big new mine in Saskatchewan out of the marketing cartel, the Financial Times reported.

CAPITA GROUP

The outsourcing company issues a trading update.

TULLETT PREBON

The interdealer broker issues a trading update.

CHESNARA

The insurance-focussed takeover specialist issues a trading update.

HELPHIRE GROUP

The accident-claim handler issues a trading update.

HILL & SMITH HOLDINGS

The highways infrastructure group issues a trading update.

HUNTSWORTH

The public relations firm issues a trading update.

NAUTICAL PETROLEUM

The oil explorer holds its annual general meeting.

RECORD

The currency management specialist posts first-half results.

ROTORK

The maker of valve control systems issues a trading update.

CHEMRING GROUP

The company issues a trading update.

BIOQUELL

The company issues a trading update.