LONDON May 1 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 5
points higher, or 0.07 percent, according to financial bookmakers.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent higher at 6,780.03 points in the
previous session after hitting an intraday peak of 6,794.88, the highest level
since early March.
* Trading volumes are likely to be thin as other stock markets in Europe are
closed for the May Day holiday.
* The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its first record high of
2014 on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave an upbeat view of the
economy's prospects as it announced another cut to its massive bond-buying
* The Fed said in a statement it would reduce its monthly bond purchases to
$45 billion from $55 billion, as expected. That will keep it on track to end the
programme as soon as October.
* RECKITT BENCKISER - The company is no longer in active talks with
Merck & Co about buying its consumer health business, it said on
* London copper slipped to a seven-session low on Thursday after China's
manufacturing sector showed a slight improvement in April but missed forecasts,
while prices were set to drift with top consumer China on a two-day break.
* Brent crude eased down towards $108 a barrel, not far above its lowest in
more than two weeks, as a potential rise in Libya's oil supply and record-high
inventories in the United States weighed on prices.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
BG GROUP PLC Q1
BRITISH SKY BROADCASTING GROUP PLC Q3
LLOYDS BANKING GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE
ROLLS-ROYCE HOLDINGS PLC TRADING
SCHRODERS PLC Q1 TRADE
SHIRE PLC Q1
SMITH & NEPHEW PLC Q1
SYNTHOMER PLC TRADING
WEIR GROUP PLC Q1 TRADE
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(Reporting by Atul Prakash, editing by Tricia Wright)