(Adds company news, futures)
April 20 Britain's blue chip FTSE 100 index is seen
opening down 0.16 percent at 7103 points on Thursday, according to financial
spreadbetters, with futures down 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market
* ACACIA: Acacia Mining reported a 15 percent rise in its
first-quarter gold production on Thursday but said sales undershot due to a ban
on gold and copper exports by Tanzania.
* DEBENHAMS: Debenhams, Britain's second-largest department store
group, on Thursday detailed a plan to return to growth by becoming more of a
destination for shoppers that is differentiated from rivals and has an enhanced
* SKY: European pay-TV group Sky said the number of customers
deserting the service in its key home market had remained steady in the third
quarter, helping it to reiterate its targets for the full year.
* UNILEVER: Consumer goods maker Unilever, reported better
than expected first-quarter sales on Thursday, helped by pricing growth.
* EVRAZ: Russia's Evraz, one of the country's largest steelmakers,
said on Thursday its first-quarter crude steel output rose 8.7 percent
quarter-on-quarter to 3.7 million tonnes.
* IHG: Global hotel chain InterContinental Hotels Group Plc said
1,200 of its franchised hotels in the United States, including Holiday Inn and
Crowne Plaza, were victims of a three-month cyber attack that sought to steal
customer payment card data.
* RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto, on Thursday said
first-quarter iron production from Australia fell 3 percent from the same period
a year ago due to wet weather at its mines, but kept its full-year guidance
intact despite weakening ore prices.
* OIL: Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday after steep losses the
previous day, with a slight drop in U.S. crude inventories stoking hopes that a
push to rein in global oversupply could be gathering at least some momentum.
* GOLD: Gold held firm on Thursday, after falling as much as 1 percent the
previous day, as tensions surrounding North Korea and the upcoming French
presidential election offered support to the safe-haven asset amid a firmer
dollar. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,280 per ounce as of 0107 GMT.
* Copper: London copper rose on Thursday but was mired near its lowest for
the year after China's refined production surged in March, underlining ample
stocks in the world's biggest metals consumer. Three-month copper on the London
Metal Exchange rose by 0.7 percent to $5593 a tonne by 0126 GMT.
* EMA: The European Medicines Agency (EMA), Europe's equivalent of the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration, is preparing to leave its London headquarters in
the wake of Brexit and its executive director is hoping for a quick decision on
its new location. France offered the northern city of Lille as a candidate to
host the European Union's drug regulator to replace London after Britain leaves
the bloc, the government said on Wednesday.
* EX-DIVS: BAE Systems, Barratt Developments, Intu
Properties, Mondi and Smurfit Kappa Group will trade
without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.1
points off the FTSE 100, according to Reuters calculations.
* Britain's top share index closed down 0.5 percent at 7,114.36 points as it
came under pressure once again on Wednesday, giving up the gains it had made in
2017 as sterling held close to a six-and-a-half-month high after Prime Minister
Theresa May called for a snap general election.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Sanjeeban Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)