(Adds company news items and futures)
May 9 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 33 points lower at 7,238 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.30 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* BEAZLEY: Lloyd’s Of London insurer Beazley Plc on Thursday reported a 16 percent jump in gross written premiums in the first quarter as higher rates for its insurance policies offset an uptick in claims in some divisions.
* SUPERDRY: British fashion retailer Superdry said on Thursday its full-year underlying pretax profit was likely to be below market expectations, as founder Julian Dunkerton began efforts to revitalise the company after narrowly forcing his way back in.
* MORRISONS: Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-biggest supermarket group, said political and economic uncertainty had weighed on its first-quarter growth and warned that it faced a tough comparative over the next three months.
* BARRATT: Britain’s biggest housebuilder Barratt Developments Plc said on Thursday it expected results for the current financial year to be modestly above previous expectations, suggesting it was riding out Brexit-generated tensions in the housing market.
* ACACIA: Acacia Mining Plc said on Thursday it produced more gold in April as its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania saw higher output, and stood by its production outlook for the full year.
* RATHBONE: British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers on Thursday posted a 7.7 percent increase in first-quarter assets under management and administration on the back of market gains and net inflows of client cash.
* RSA: British insurer RSA said on Thursday that net written premiums rose 3 percent in the first quarter to 1.57 billion pounds ($2.04 billion), and operating profit rose on a constant currency basis.
* BT: The new chief executive of BT said it could connect 15 million premises with fibre connections by the mid 2020s if the conditions are right, as the company reported an as-expected 2 percent drop in full-year core earnings on Thursday.
* STAGECOACH: Stagecoach Group said on Wednesday it had begun legal action against Britain’s Department for Transport after the company’s bid to continue operating a rail route was rejected due to concerns over pensions.
* STANDARD CHARTERED: Standard Chartered has become the latest British firm to attract investor criticism of executive pensions, although shareholders stopped short of blocking the lender’s pay plans outright in a vote on Wednesday.
* GSK: Australia’s competition regulator said on Thursday it will not oppose GlaxoSmithKline’s deal to buy Pfizer’s consumer healthcare business.
* BP, SHELL: U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are bidding up prices for medium, high-sulfur crude produced in the Gulf of Mexico by BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc as they face a global shortage of heavy and sour crude, trade sources said.
* OIL: Oil prices dropped 1 percent on Thursday amid concerns over the escalating trade battle between the United States and China, despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles.
* GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Thursday ahead of Sino-U.S. trade negotiations, while demand for government bonds and Japanese yen and a key technical resistance limited gains for the safe-haven metal.
* EX-DIVS: Admiral Group, BP, Centrica and Hiscox will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 8.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday as investors welcomed indications from Washington that it and Beijing could be closer to a trade deal, though the mood remained wary and dull earnings updates kept a lid on gains, and was also boosted by oil stocks after data showed a surprise draw in U.S. crude inventories.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
TODAY’S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)
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