LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 18 points, or 0.3 percent higher on Friday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures firming 0.2 percent ahead of the open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed up by 0.9 percent, or 56.03 points, at 6,446.87 points, marking its biggest one-day rise in more than two weeks after upbeat PMI survey data lifted growth-sensitive stocks.
* Domestic demand and construction spending drove growth in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, between April and June, contributing to the strongest quarterly expansion in more than a year.
* GOLD MINERS: South Africa faced a strike wave across leading sectors of the economy on Thursday and the labour unrest threatened to hit its struggling gold industry, already squeezed by rising costs and falling bullion prices.
* BHP BILLITON : The miner has cut bonus payouts to its top executives after a decline in total returns to shareholders in the last five years, even though it beat its target for outperforming peers over that period.
* WOLSELEY : Wolseley climbed 4.3 percent yesterday after hopes of another special dividend helped push the stock to an 11-week high, the Financial Times reported.
* BALFOUR BEATTY : Balfour Beatty has been selected as joint venture partner on £207 million ($324 million) Houston Convention Center Hotel.
* STOBART : The haulage company made solid progress in the first half-year of the financial year, and remains confident of delivering strong returns over the medium term.
* AFREN : Afren said full-year production is on track, with a year-on-year increase in underlying net production of 13 percent.
* BERENDSEN : Berendsen reported higher first-half profit, wih adjusted pretax profit up 21 percent.
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