(Adds company news items, futures price)
LONDON, March 20 Britain's FTSE 100 futures contract
fell 0.6 percent index on Thursday, tracking a drop in global equities after the
U.S. Federal Reserve indicated it could raise interest rates much earlier than
expected. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index fell by 0.5 percent, or 32.15
points, at 6,573.13 points on Wednesday, with insurers and gambling companies
impacted by measures unveiled in Britain's budget which threatened their
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The U.S. Federal Reserve will probably end its
massive bond-buying program this fall, and could start raising interest rates
around six months later, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday, in a comment
which sent stocks and bonds tumbling.
* COPPER: London copper fell on Thursday but remained well above 3-1/2 year
lows hit the in the previous session, after the Fed chair signalled interest
rates could rise next year.
* NEXT : Next, Britain's second-largest clothing retailer, met
guidance with a 11.8 percent rise in year profit driven by growth at its
Directory internet and catalogue business.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline said it
was disappointed by some of the results of a stage III trial for a lung cancer
treatment but would continue with it as there could still be a group of patients
who may benefit.
* LLOYDS : Part-nationalised UK bank Lloyds said it had sold a real
estate loan portfolio for 280 million euros.
* ARM : Chip designer ARM Holdings expects the value of ARM-based
chips in smartphones and mobile computing application processors to reach $20
billion by 2018 from $13 billion last year.
* UNITED UTILITIES : United Utilities said it was expecting higher
operating profits for 2013-2014.
* PREMIER FARNELL : Premier Farnell, a distributor of small
electronics and electronic parts, reported an 8 percent rise in full-year pretax
profit, helped by strong sales in emerging markets in the second half of the
* MULBERRY : Bruno Guillon quit as chief executive of Mulberry on
Thursday, less than two months after the British luxury fashion company issued a
major profit warning which hammered its shares.
* CREST NICHOLSON : Housebuilder Crest Nicholson said forward sales
for 2014 and beyond were up by 50 percent, compared to last year.
* BP : BP rejoined bidders for exploration and production leases in
the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and won 24 tracts after the U.S. government
lifted a 16-month ban barring the company from new federal contracts.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Royal Bank of Scotland must face a U.S.
lawsuit seeking to force it to cover losses suffered by a bond insurer on a
$1.15 billion securities offering backed by allegedly defective and fraudulent
* M&C SAATCHI : Advertising agency M&C Saatchi said full-year profit
rose 8 percent as it brought new clients on board, and won new contracts from
* TED BAKER : Fashion retailer Ted Baker posted a 35 percent rise in
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Blaise Robinson)