LONDON, April 2 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa)