UK Stocks-Factors to watch on April 2
LONDON, April 2
LONDON, April 2 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 4 to 14 points higher, or as much as 0.2 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the FTSE 100 index were up 0.2 percent at 0629 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.8 percent higher at 6,652.61 points in the previous session.
* Several FTSE 100 companies will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, after which investors will no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout. Collectively they would take 3.78 points off the index. The companies are Aviva, Next , Pearson , Resolution, Tullow Oil and Wolseley .
* Growth in British house prices cooled for the third straight month in March, despite recording their biggest annual rise in almost four years, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed.
* BP - The oil major is ceasing production at its Bulwer Island refinery in Brisbane, Australia by mid 2015, blaming competition from new mega-refineries in Asia that are cheaper to operate.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE - The drugmaker said it has stopped its lung cancer vaccine trial.
Separately, the company said its AIDS drugs business is to add one of its latest HIV medicines to a patent pool - cutting its future price for developing countries and pooling intellectual property rights.
* London copper climbed to its highest in more than three weeks after a powerful earthquake off the coast of top mine supplier Chile triggered a tsunami alert, which raised supply concerns and set off a volley of technical buying.
* MINERS - BHP Billiton said its Cerro Colorado mine is located far from the quake that hit northern Chile and is likely unaffected, while the chief executive of Chile's Collahuasi copper mine, a joint venture led by Anglo American and Glencore Xstrata said there were no reports of any problems at the mine so far following the earthquake.
* ANTOFAGASTA - London-listed Antofagasta also said its copper operations were unharmed by the earthquake in Chile.
* BHP BILLITON - Top global miner BHP Billiton sees little improvement in coal prices in the near term as the market is likely to remain over-supplied for some time, its coal chief said.
* ANGLO AMERICAN - The chief executive of Anglo American, one of the world's largest diversified miners, said divesting the strike-afflicted platinum division could be an option if it does not perform as well as the others.
* HSBC - HSBC has made some progress in improving its anti-money laundering program as required by a 2012 deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, but there remains "much work to be done," federal prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing.
* Brent crude steadied above $105 a barrel on Wednesday after dropping to its lowest in almost five months in the previous session, while investors waited for U.S. inventory data to assess demand in the world's top oil consumer.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa)
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