LONDON Jan 15 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
higher on Wednesday, with futures up 0.3 percent by 0736 GMT before the
cash market open.
* Brightening the mood, the World Bank raised its forecast for growth for
the first time in three years, signalling the world economy is finally pulling
out of a long and sluggish recovery that followed the global financial crisis.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 9.71 points, or 0.1 percent, at 6,766.86
points on Tuesday, reversing earlier losses to steady near two-month highs,
after forecast-beating U.S. December retail sales offset some of the concern
triggered by last week's disappointing U.S. jobs report.
* The following companies will trade without the attraction of their latest
dividend on Wednesday, knocking 3.39 points off the FTSE 100: Ashtead,
Imperial Tobacco and Next.
* BURBERRY : The luxury brand posted a 14 percent rise in underlying
retail revenue in the Christmas quarter, though it cautioned that at current
levels, exchange rates will be a significant headwind in the balance of its
* TULLOW OIL : The oil explorer said it had made two new oil
discoveries in Kenya, boosting discovered resources there to 600 million
barrels, and it was working with government to start developing the finds within
* STANDARD CHARTERED : Shares in the Asia-focused bank were boosted
on Tuesday by talk of possible bid interest from Australia & New Zealand Banking
Group, according to the Daily Express market report.
* TAYLOR WIMPEY : The housebuilder said it expects its full-year
operating margins to hit the upper end of its expectations, helped by government
schemes that have stoked demand for its homes.
* BHP BILLITON : Pan Pacific Copper, Japan's biggest smelter, said on
Wednesday it would not sign an annual contract for copper processing fees with
BHP Billiton for 2014, after failing to strike an agreement on terms.
Separately, the miner appointed Tony Cudmore as President of Corporate
* AVIVA : The insurance group has toughened oversight of trading
activities at its fund management arm after discovering breaches of dealing
policy between 2006 and 2012, according to a company filing.
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
For more information on Top News visit