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March 16 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 32 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.6 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 0.2 percent higher at 7,368.64 points on Wednesday, supported by higher commodity stocks and a rally in drugmaker Hikma following better than expected earnings growth, but concerns over Brexit continued to dampen the mood.
* SAINSBURY‘S: Britain’s Sainsbury’s reported on Thursday a slight fall in underlying quarterly sales in its core supermarkets business and cautioned over uncertainty regarding cost pressures.
* BALFOUR BEATTY: Balfour Beatty reported a return to annual profit on Thursday as its British construction benefited in the second half from the diminishing impact of loss-making historic contracts.
* ONESAVINGS BANK: OneSavings Bank Plc reported a 15.7 percent growth in its loan book in 2016, and said it expected net loan book growth in the mid-teens this year.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal said on Wednesday he would buy a stake of up to 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion) in Anglo American but had no intention of trying to take control of the global miner.
* GKN: Automotive and aerospace group, GKN is initiating a search for a successor to its veteran chief executive, Sky News reported on Wednesday.
* BRITAIN PHARMA: British drugmakers on Wednesday accused Theresa May’s Conservative government of breaking a manifesto commitment to improve access to new medicines, following approval of new cost rules that take effect on April 1.
* BRITISH AIRWAYS: British Airways and Britain’s biggest trade union Unite will meet to seek an end to a dispute over the wages of some of its cabin crew staff, industrial dispute conciliator ACAS said on Wednesday.
* BRITAIN ENERGY: Britain’s efforts to tackle climate change and improve energy efficiency are not to blame for soaring household energy bills, the government’s climate advisers said in a report on Thursday.
* EX-DIVS: British American Tobacco, Direct Line, Hammerson and Randgold Resources will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 9.66 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* OIL: Crude oil prices rose on Thursday to extend gains from the previous session after official government data showed U.S. stockpiles had eased from record highs.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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