LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 7 to 12 points, or as much as 0.2 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers.
* The UK blue-chip index rose to its highest closing level in eight months on Wednesday, ending up by 0.8 percent, or 53 points, at 6,819.86 points. The FTSE 100 futures contract was flat in early trading on Thursday.
* RIO TINTO : Rio Tinto reported big increases in the production of iron ore and other minerals in 2013, betting China’s massive economic growth will provide a ready market for decades to come.
* UK HOUSING MARKET: Expectations of future rises in British house prices strengthened again last month, driven by a shortage of new homes on the market, a survey showed on Thursday, although its headline price measure slipped.
* BANK OF ENGLAND/FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Bank of England representatives discussed the process of setting foreign exchange benchmarks with senior currency dealers at major investment banks in April 2012, more than a year before regulators launched official probes into alleged rate manipulation, according to a Freedom of Information Request made by Reuters.
* London copper steadied near a one-week high on Thursday.
* ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS : Associated British Foods said sales at its Primark discount fashion chain recovered over Christmas after they were dampened by unseasonably warm autumn weather, although it said performance of its sugar unit was weaker than expected.
* DIXONS RETAIL : Dixons Retail, Europe’s No. 2 electricals retailer, posted a rise in sales in the key Christmas trading period, gaining market share from rivals.
* EXPERIAN : The credit data and financial group posted higher revenues and added that Chief Executive Don Robert would replace John Peace as chairman and Finance Director Brian Cassin would replace him as chief executive.
* HOME RETAIL : Home Retail Group, Britain’s biggest household goods retailer, said on Thursday the head of its Argos business John Walden would replace outgoing chief executive Terry Duddy.
* OCADO : British online grocer Ocado posted gross sales growth of 21.3 percent in the six weeks to Jan. 5, reflecting strong trading in the seven days up to Christmas.
* ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT : The fund management company said clients withdrew a net 4.4 billion pounds ($7.19 billion)in the last three months of 2013 as sentiment turned against emerging market investments.
* LADBROKES : The betting company said it expected its operating profit to be around the middle of the current range of market expectations.
* SVG CAPITAL : Aegon is to sell its 7.5 percent stake in SVG Capital.
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