(Adds company news, futures)
April 13 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 15.3
points lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures FFIc1
down 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* SAINSBURY: Britain's No. 2 supermarket group Sainsbury plans to
convert 60 Argos general merchandise stores to a digital format and open more
in-store Habitat outlets over the next year, it said on Thursday.
* HSS HIRE: Tool and equipment rental firm HSS Hire said on Thursday
that Chief Executive John Gill will step down once a successor is
* HAYS: British recruitment company Hays forecast full-year profit
at the top end of market expectations on Thursday after reporting record
third-quarter net fees as international hiring offset weakness in the UK market
following the Brexit vote.
* ROYAL MAIL: Britain's Royal Mail said on Thursday it would close
its defined benefit pension scheme at end-March 2018 after a review found it
would need to more than double annual contributions to over 1 billion pounds
($1.26 billion) to keep the plan running.
* RIO: Australia's foreign investment watchdog has cleared Chinese-backed
coal miner Yancoal Australia Ltd to pursue its $2.45 billion
acquisition of Rio Tinto,'s Coal and Allied Division, Yancoal
said on Thursday.
* BRITAIN HOUSE PRICES: House prices in central London saw their most
widespread declines since 2009 as Brexit uncertainties and high transaction
costs dented demand for high-end property in the British capital, a survey
showed on Thursday.
* BRITAIN ECONOMY: British manufacturers reported the fastest export growth
in more than two years in early 2017 and the services sector also recovered to
rack up its strongest sales growth since last June's Brexit vote, a business
survey showed on Thursday.
* EX-DIVS: Reckitt Benckiser, Standard Life and Taylor Wimpey
will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on
Thursday, trimming 3.7 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* The UK blue chip index fell 0.2 percent at close on Wednesday as results
weighed on Tesco shares and the broader UK supermarket sector.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
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(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)