LONDON Aug 21 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
8 to 10 points higher, or up by 0.2 percent on Thursday, according to financial
bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index edged up 0.1 percent.
* The UK blue chip index closed down by 0.4 percent, or 23.83 points, at
6,755.48 points on Wednesday.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The U.S. Federal Reserve hinted on Wednesday that a
surprisingly strong jobs market recovery could lead it to raise interest rates
earlier than it had been anticipating. At the same time, most Fed officials
wanted further evidence before changing their view on when rates should rise,
according to the minutes from the central bank's July 29-30 meeting.
* CHINESE ECONOMY: Growth in China's vast factory sector slowed to a
three-month low in August as output and new orders moderated, a preliminary
private survey showed on Thursday, heightening concerns about increasing
softness in the economy.
* ASTRAZENECA : Illumina announced strategic partnerships
with drugmaker AstraZeneca, Janssen and Sanofi in the oncology area.
* KAZAKHMYS : Kazakhstan-focused copper producer Kazakhmys posted a
fall in first-half core profit, hit by lower metal prices, falling metal ore
grades and higher production costs.
* PREMIER OIL : Oil and gas explorer Premier Oil reported a 7 percent
rise in first-half profit after tax, helped by a higher-than-expected increase
in oil production from its British fields.
* QUINDELL : Quindell Plc, a British IT outsourcing and consultancy
services provider, said first-half adjusted pretax profit nearly tripled,
boosted by a jump in sales at both its services and solutions businesses.
* ENERGY SECTOR: Britain's opposition Labour Party has pledged to give
energy regulator Ofgem the power to cancel electricity and gas suppliers'
licences if they repeatedly breach rules and cause harm to their customers.
* COPPER: London copper stayed around $7,000 a tonne mark on Thursday after
a gauge on China's factory health showed growth slowed in August.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta,; Editing by Atul Prakash)