LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 was expected to open higher on Thursday, with September futures on the index trading 0.5 percent higher at 0627 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The FTSE 100 closed down by 1.2 percent, or 74.07 points, at 6,229.87 points on Wednesday.
* Trading volume was expected to be thin on Thursday as the U.S. stock market, the world’s largest, was shut for a national holiday.
* RIO TINTO - The Mongolian government and Rio Tinto have not yet reached an agreement on whether the miner can repatriate earnings from the $6.2 billion Oyu Tolgoi mine, the country’s mining minister said, delaying first copper shipments.
* SIERRA RUTILE - The Africa-focused mineral sands producer said it remained on track to achieve 2013 production targets after it operated in line with expectations for the second quarter.
* EASYJET : The low-cost carrier said the number of passengers was up 1.9 percent in June while the load factor remained unchanged at 88.9 percent.
* JOHN WOOD GROUP : The group said on Thursday it has secured its sixth major North Sea contract extension this year.
* The Halifax house prices index for June are due to be published at 0700 GMT, with the monthly growth rate seen stable at 0.4 percent.
* The Bank of England and the European Central Bank were due to announce their interest rate decisions at 1100 GMT and 1145 GMT, respectively, with no change expected to interest rates or to the BoE’s monetary stimulus programme.
* A run of surprisingly positive economic data in Britain has prompted investors to wonder how long it will be before the new governor, Mark Carney, has to think about ending quantitative easing. There has been some speculation he would break with convention and release a statement even if the bank takes no action.
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