LONDON Aug 14 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening open between flat and 2 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up by 0.4 percent at 6,656.68 points on Wednesday.
* BANK OF ENGLAND: The Bank of England will not be pushed into raising interest rates sharply because the outlook for inflation is subdued, a policymaker on the Bank's rate setting committee said on Thursday.
* MARKS & SPENCER - British retailer Marks & Spencer is close to having both its food and general merchandise divisions "firing on all cylinders" and expects a better Christmas after poor clothing sales hit last holiday season, according to its food business head.
* RANK GROUP - Gambling company Rank Group posted annual operating profits before exceptional items of 72.4 million pounds and raised its dividend.
* AFRICAN MINERALS - The board of iron ore producer African Minerals is considering changing the role of its executive chairman Frank Timis, who was recently at the centre of an investigation into a $50 million payment he authorised, a company director said on Wednesday.
* COPPER: London copper was stuck near its lowest since late June on Thursday after growth in China's huge property sector showed signs of cooling, while worries persisted that geopolitical tensions would dampen Europe's recovery.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
AZ ELECTRONIC H1
DERWENT LONDON H1
OPHIR ENERGY H1
PARTNERSHIP ASSURANCE H1
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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