UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Aug. 28

LONDON Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:31am EDT

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LONDON Aug 28 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 futures contract edged down by 0.1 percent on Thursday, with the cash market also set for a slightly weaker open according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.1 percent at 6,830.66 points on Wednesday.

* UK ECONOMY: Britain's economy looks set to grow at its fastest rate since 2007 this year, but the rapid pace is unlikely to be sustained, the British Chambers of Commerce said on Wednesday after nudging up its growth forecasts for this year and next.

* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : U.S. health officials will announce on Thursday that a human study of an Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline will begin within a couple of weeks and not later this year as the company estimated originally, according to people familiar with the plans.

* GLENCORE : Glencore will hold talks with the government of the Australian state of Queensland over developing vast bauxite reserves that have remained untapped for decades despite a series of attempts by mining companies to get a project off the ground.

* HAYS : Recruitment and human resources services group Hays said it was on track to double its operating profits by 2018 after posting a 12 percent rise in full-year pretax profit on Thursday.

* SOCO : London-listed oil company Soco International said on Thursday it will pay shareholders a cash return of 22 pence per share, rewarding investors with a $121 million payout.

* HUNTING : Energy services firm Hunting Plc shrugged off a poor start to the year and posted a 2.6 percent increase in first-half pretax profit, helped by strong demand in the Gulf of Mexico.

* LAMPRELL : Oil rig maker Lamprell Plc's operating profit nearly tripled as it completed four major projects ahead of budget in the first half of the year.

* EURASIA DRILLING : Russia's biggest oilfield services company Eurasia Drilling Co (EDC) said on Thursday that its future growth may suffer if western sanctions over Ukraine are extended, after reporting a lower profit on the weaker rouble.

* PETROPAVLOVSK : Russia-focused gold miner Petropavlovsk said on Thursday it recorded a net loss of $95 million in the first half of 2014 after $742 million net loss for the same period a year ago.

* MELROSE INDUSTRIES : Investment company Melrose Industries posted higher interim pre-tax profits.

* TERRA FIRMA/GARDEN CENTRE GROUP:Private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners is looking to sell the Garden Centre Group two years after buying the business, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matte.

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 Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Atul Prakash)

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