UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept. 12
LONDON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening slightly higher to trade near four-week highs on Thursday. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for Britain's FTSE 100 were up 0.2 percent at 0636 GMT. Financial bookmakers earlier predicted the index to open about 2 points higher.
* The UK blue chip index closed 4.44 points, or 0.1 percent, higher at 6,588.43 points on Wednesday.
* NEXT - Britain's second biggest clothing retailer Next posted an 8.2 percent rise in first half profit, helped by a strong performance from its Directory internet and catalogue business as well as new store openings.
* WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS - Britain's No. 4 grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets posted a 10 percent fall in first half profit, hurt by its late entry into online grocery and convenience store markets.
* SERCO, ENRC - Outsourcing firm Serco and Kazakh miner ENRC will both leave Britain's top share index, FTSE confirmed on Wednesday, after share price slumps during a year beset with difficulties.
* BP - The trial began on Wednesday in the first four of 48,000 civil lawsuits filed against BP for pollution from the 460,196 barrel per day refinery it owned in Texas City, Texas until early this year, according to court documents.
* ROYAL MAIL - Britain embarked on its largest privatisation in decades on Thursday when it said it would float the majority of the near 500-year-old Royal Mail postal service.
* HOME RETAIL GROUP - Like-for-like sales at Argos increased by 2.7 percent in the second quarter, while Homebase like-for-like sales rose by 11 percent.
* TRINITY MIRROR - British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror said the police was investigating whether the group was criminally liable for alleged phone hacking by previous employees on the Sunday Mirror tabloid.
* AMEC - British engineer Amec said on Thursday it will not make an offer for oil and gas construction firm Kentz, after news of an approach emerged last month.
* OCADO - British online grocer Ocado posted third quarter sales growth of 16.4 percent, broadly in line with expectations, and said it was encouraged by an increase in both orders and basket size.
* Brent crude futures held steady above $111 a barrel as investors waited to see whether diplomatic efforts to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons avert the threat of U.S. military action that could lead to disruption of oil supplies.
* London copper eased to its lowest in four sessions on subdued buying ahead of the Federal Reserve's stimulus decision next week, although Chinese demand put a floor under prices.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)
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