LONDON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 45 points, or 0.7 percent, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down by 38.79 points, or 0.6 percent, at 6,597.37 points on Thursday, its lowest close since April 16, meaning it has fallen more than 3 percent since a peak seen at the end of July.
* UNITED STATES/IRAQ: U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he has authorized air strikes against Islamist militants in Iraq to protect American personnel and launched humanitarian assistance to prevent a genocide of members of a religious minority who have fled their homes.
* OIL: Oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic rose more than $1 on Friday, with Brent nearing $107 a barrel after the United States approved air strikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, raising the threat of oil disruptions from the key oil producer.
* CHINESE ECONOMY: China’s iron ore imports jumped nearly 11 percent in July from the previous month, customs data showed, as buyers took advantage of lower prices for the steelmaking raw material and stocked up, despite weak domestic steel demand.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : Chinese prosecutors on Friday charged a British investigator and his American wife with illegally obtaining private information in a case that is seen as key to a bribery investigation against GlaxoSmithKline.
* 3I : London-based private equity firm 3i Group Plc had hired U.S. bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc to run a potential sale of British luxury lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing a source.
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