(Adds futures, company news, details,)
LONDON, April 10 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen
opening 10 to 12 points higher, or as much as 0.2 percent, on Thursday,
according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European
stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index are up 0.4 percent by 0634 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 44.92 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,635.61
points on Wednesday.
* British house prices unexpectedly picked up speed in March and sales
reached a six-year high, a survey showed on Thursday, suggesting the market is
still firmly on the rise, after recent releases indicated a slight loss in
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND - The bank has agreed to pay 1.5 billion
pounds ($2.5 billion) to cancel an arrangement that gives the government
priority over dividends, clearing an obstacle to the lender's eventual
* MARKS & SPENCER - British retailer Marks & Spencer's non-food
sales fell for an eleventh consecutive quarter, the firm said on Thursday,
increasing the pressure on management to explain why heavy investment has not
yet delivered an anticipated turnaround.
* VODAFONE GROUP - India's Piramal Enterprises Ltd said it
agreed to sell an about 11 percent stake it owns in the Indian unit of Vodafone
Group to the British group for 89 billion rupees ($1.48 billion).
* ROYAL MAIL - Britain's newly-privatised Royal Mail warned an
investigation into a rival's complaint over wholesale mail price rises would
lead to a long period of uncertainty around the prices it charges other postal
* London nickel extended gains to a fresh one year high on Thursday as
investors raised bullish bets after signs of stress in Chinese stainless steel
markets following a ban on exports from top ore exporter Indonesia.
* Brent futures eased towards $107 a barrel on Thursday on weak China trade
data and as investors booked profits after gains of 2 percent in the past two
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines
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(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Tricia Wright)