LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures are up 28 points on Wednesday, or 0.5 percent, ahead of market open. The FTSE 100 index had been seen opening up 16 to 17 points, or as much as 0.3 percent higher, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 2.20 points lower on Tuesday at 5,869.04, trading in a tight range of 35 points, as a weak domestic construction survey and depressed growth outlook from the British Chamber of Commerce weighed on British stocks.
* British finance minister George Osborne will update parliament with new growth and budget deficit figures just after 1230 GMT, and may announce new austerity measures even if he tries to juggle some spending around to ease the pain.
* UK Services PMI is released at 0928 GMT, with data from the euro zone due earlier.
* In the United States, ISM non-manufacturing data for November and factory orders for October are released at 1500 GMT.
* The copper price hits a seven week high in morning trading, boosted by Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping saying on Tuesday that China will make policies more targeted and effective in 2013 to help with the economic recovery, according to state television.
* HSBC : A group linked to Thailand’s richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont, has bought the global bank’s entire stake in China’s Ping An Insurance for $9.38 billion.
* TESCO : The British supermarket operator has launched a strategic review of its loss-making Fresh & Easy chain in the United States that could lead to a sale or closure of the business.
* SAGE GROUP : The software company reports a full-year profit up 4 percent on good subscription growth.
* STAGECOACH GROUP : The transport company reports a profit of 123.7 million pounds, boosted by UK bus growth.
* POLYMETAL : Russian precious metals miner Polymetal said its board approved payment of a special dividend of 50 cents a share, representing a total of $191 million.
* WILLIAM HILL, SPORTING BET : Britain’s biggest bookmaker William Hill and partner GVC provisionally agreed a deal to buy Sportingbet, cutting the proposed price after the online gaming firm’s revenues slipped.
* ICAG : British Airways is in talks with a trade union over plans to cut 400 senior cabin crew jobs, adding to pressure on parent International Consolidated Airlines Group, which is already facing holiday season strikes at its Iberia business.
* UK RETAILERS: British retail billionaire Philip Green is in advanced talks with a U.S. private equity firm over the sale of a 25 percent stake in high street chain Topshop and Topman, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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