LONDON, March 6 Britain's FTSE 100 index is set to open
down 5 to 10 points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on
the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Britain's blue chip shares surged on Tuesday to close above 6,400 points
for the first time in over five years helped by solid company reports and
supportive central bank comments.
The FTSE 100 closed up 86.32 points, or 1.4 percent, at 6,431.95, its
highest close since January 2008. The gains were its biggest rise since the
first trading day of the year.
* On the economic data front in the UK, Halifax house price data is due out
around 0800 GMT, while in the U.S. ADP employment figures are scheduled for
release 1315 GMT and factory orders, a gauge of U.S. business activity, are due
out at 1500 GMT.
* LONMIN : Miners returned to work on Wednesday at world No. 3
platinum producer's Marikana mine in South Africa, ending a one-day illegal
stoppage, a trade unionist said.
* GlaxoSmithKline : The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on
Tuesday it has postponed a meeting of outside advisers scheduled for March 7 to
review a drug developed by the drugmaker and Theravance Inc for chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease.
* VODAFONE : Verizon Communications has weighed several
options involving its relationship with Vodafone and its joint ownership of
Verizon Wireless ranging from ending its wireless venture with the European
company to a full merger with Vodafone, Bloomberg reported.
* LEGAL & GENERAL : The insurer reported a 3.2 percent rise in
full-year profit with earnings up 12 percent to 1,309 pence per share and its
dividend up 20 percent to 7.65 pence.
* ADMIRAL : The Car insurer posted a 15 percent rise in full-year
profit with a total dividend of 90.6 pence per share, up 20 percent, but said it
sees the trading environment for confused.com even more challenging in 2013.
* DIAGEO - Lenders to Kingfisher Airlines Ltd have
indicated they may sell United Spirits Ltd (USL) shares pledged with
them as collateral either in the market or at a higher price to outsiders,
dealing a serious, but not fatal, blow to the proposed takeover of USL by
British liquor giant Diageo, the Economic Times reported.
* MELROSE : The Engineering turnaround specialist reported a 38
percent increase in full-year profit but said its order book in its energy
business continued to be weak.
* LOOKERS : The car dealer's full-year profit rose 12.4 percent with
its total dividend up 8 percent to 2.35 percent and is said it is confident it
can continue to grow in 2013, despite short term market conditions remain
challenging with the new financial year results so far being ahead of both
budget and the prior year.
* MULBERRY : Daily Mail notes market chatter that Britain's luxury
fashion group could become a takeover target, with speculation that France's
Hermes could be lining up a 25 pound per share bid.
* CPP GROUP : CPP is in talks on a financial restructuring that
could see its lenders swap their debt for a significant stake in the British
credit card insurer following a multi-million pound regulatory fine, Sky News
reported on Tuesday.
* SDL : Announced the acquisition of bemoko, a supplier of mobile web
solutions that optimize the user experience across all mobile devices.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by David Brett)