LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 101 to 104 points higher, or as much as 1.6 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended 8.12 points, or 0.1 percent, lower at 6,504.96 on Wednesday, but is expected to rally at the open on Thursday on rising expectations the Federal Reserve will maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy, which has supported equities, for longer than expected.
* Brent crude held near three-month highs on Thursday, supported by hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve may keep its stimulus programme for now, while a sharp drop in oil inventories lifted U.S. prices to near 16-month peaks.
* BP : The energy firm filed to register its U.S. unit as a swap dealer with U.S. authorities, a company spokesman said, becoming the first oil company to face tough oversight of its derivatives business.
No major UK data due out on Thursday. In the U.S., import and export figures are scheduled for release at 1230 GMT along with weekly jobless claims.
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