* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 1-3 points, or 0.1
percent on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, steadying after sharp
falls in the previous session. For more on the factors affecting European
stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 86.40 points, or 1.5 percent, at
5,672.01 on Tuesday, ending back below the 5,700 level for the first time since
Aug 2, reflecting investor uncertainty over whether Thursday's key European
Central Bank (ECB) meeting will actually deliver the goods on a hoped for
* BP - The U.S. Justice Department is ramping up its rhetoric against
BP for the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, describing in new court
papers examples of what it calls "gross negligence and willful misconduct."
* BARCLAYS - The fallout from an investigation into the attempted
manipulation of global benchmark interest rates has again rocked Barclays, as
the bank recently ousted a top executive and a trader in New York for their
roles in the scandal, according to regulatory filings obtained on Tuesday.
* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - The British investment manager outpaced the
impact on investors' confidence of weak stock markets and bad economic news to
post double digit increases in full-year revenues and profits and it rewarded
investors with a special dividend.
* BERKELEY GROUP HOLDINGS - The housebuilder said trading for the
first-quarter has been in line with the board's expectations.
* SPORTS DIRECT INTERNATIONAL - The retailer said total sales for
the 13 weeks ending July 29 were up 25.3 percent to 519.0 million pounds, with
gross profit up 20.4 percent to 211.1 million pounds, and since the end of July
trading has remained equally strong.
* THEO FENNELL - The upmarket jeweller said it is in very
preliminary talks with EME Capital, which may or may not lead to an offer for
* ADVANCED MEDICAL SOLUTIONS GROUP - The group reported a 98
percent jump in first-half adjusted profit before tax to 5.4 million pounds on
revenue up 52 percent to 24.8 million pounds, And said it is optimistic about
long term prospects.
* EKF DIAGNOSTICS - The firm said its adjusted EBITDA for the
first-half is expected to be well ahead of market expectations, and it has
confidence that it will at least meet or exceed current earnings expectations
for the full-year.
* SHANTA GOLD - The firm revealed encouraging exploration results
from its GBG joint venture.
* BRITVIC -Shares in the soft drinks firm rose on Tuesday as
mouthwartering rumours of a 1.3 billion pounds merger with Iron-Bru-to-Tizer
group AG Barr intensified, according to the Daily Mail market report.
* British shop price inflation picked up slightly in August as food costs
kept rising and non-food prices fell at slower rate, the British Retail
Consortium said on Wednesday.
* Across the Atlantic, aside from the release of the latest weekly U.S.
mortgage and refinancing indexes at 1100 GMT, investors will eye August's New
York ISM report, due at 1345 GMT.
* Stocks trading ex-dividend, after which investors will no longer qualify
for the latest dividend payout, will take a hefty 6.68 points off the FTSE 100
index on Wednesday, after the resulting adjustment to prices by market-makers.
With Aggreko, ARM Holdings, BHP Billiton, Diageo
, Evraz, IMI, Kazakhmys, Resolution,
Serco, Shire, and Tullow Oil all trading without their
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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