LONDON, July 3 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening
4 to 6 points higher, or up as much as 0.1 percent, on Thursday, according to
financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please
* The UK blue chip index ended 0.2 percent firmer at 6,816.37 points in the
previous session after climbing up to 6,829.49, the highest level since late
* Futures for the index were up 0.1 percent at 0656 GMT.
* BALFOUR BEATTY - British infrastructure group Balfour Beatty said
trading at its mechanical and electrical engineering division had worsened,
resulting in a 35 million pound ($60 million)profit shortfall. Its shares were
seen falling about 10 percent, according to traders.
* Investors will keep a close eye on U.S. non-farm jobs data a day after
payrolls processor ADP said U.S. private-sector hiring hit a 1-1/2-year high in
June. Nonfarm payrolls probably increased by 212,000 jobs after rising by
217,000 in May, according to a Reuters poll.
* Attention will turn to the details of the European Central Bank's new
stimulus measures when the ECB meets on Thursday, as the dust settles after the
extraordinary package was announced in June.
* TULLOW OIL - The company said it has discovered oil in Barents
Sea, offshore Norway.
* VODAFONE - The European Commission said on Wednesday it had
approved Vodafone's 7.2 billion euro ($9.79 billion) acquisition of Spain's
largest cable operator Ono without conditions.
* MOTHERCARE - U.S. baby product retailer Destination Maternity
will continue its pursuit of Britain's Mothercare after revealing on
Wednesday it had two bid proposals rejected.
* STANDARD CHARTERED - Bloomberg reported that the bank, which
started cutting jobs in its buyout unit last year, is planning to sell
private-equity investments valued at about $500 million, according to two people
with knowledge of the situation.
SERCO - British outsourcing firm Serco, forced to raise cash after a
collapse in profits, said it expected to write down the value of some of its
larger contracts at its half-year results as part of a review of its business.
* BAE SYSTEMS - The defence group has been chosen to further
develop its 'anti-insurgent' missile system for the U.S. military, Sky News
* RSA INSURANCE GROUP - The company said it has reached an agreement
to sell its Sun Alliance Insurance (China) to Swiss Re corporate solutions.
* Brent futures dipped towards $111 a barrel on Thursday as supply fears
eased after Libya declared an end to an oil crisis that has cut exports from the
OPEC member to a trickle, although declines will be capped by concerns over
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(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Blaise Robinson)