(Adds company news items)
Dec 7 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening between
31 and 35 points higher, or up as much as 0.52 percent on Wednesday, according
to financial bookmakers, with futures up 0.72 percent ahead of the cash
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.5 pct at close at 6,779.84, supported
by a rally in bank stocks.
* PFIZER: Britain's competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined
Pfizer a record 84.2 million pounds ($106.54 million) for ramping up the
cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 percent.
* SAGE GROUP: British software company Sage Group is evaluating
potential strategic options for its North American payments business, including
a sale, it said on Wednesday.
* STAGECOACH: British transport company Stagecoach said its annual
earnings outlook was broadly unchanged despite lower bus profits, as it planned
to lift its dividend to reflect its confidence in future appetite for public
* CARILLION: Carillion Plc, a building support services company,
said the pace of new order intake had slowed in the second half of the year,
partly due to a spending delay by the government following Britain's vote to
quit the European Union.
* ARROW GLOBAL: Debt purchaser and manager Arrow Global Group Plc
said former Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Plc finance boss Lee Rochford
would take over as Arrow Global's chief executive officer on Jan. 3.
* RIO TINTO: The copper market will go into deficit by 2020, just when Rio
Tinto's extension to the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia comes
onstream, the company said on Tuesday.
* BHP: Brazilian iron ore miner Samarco Mineracao expects to receive a
preliminary environmental license in the first quarter, an important step in its
effort to resume operations by mid-2017, Chief Executive Officer Roberto
Carvalho said in an interview on Tuesday. This would be the first of three
environmental licenses needed by the company, which is jointly owned by Vale SA
and BHP Billiton.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: An environmental group said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit
against De Beers Canada, accusing the diamond producer of failing to report
toxic levels of mercury and methylmercury at its Victor diamond mine in northern
Ontario. De Beers is 85 percent owned by miner Anglo American Plc.
* BBC: Thailand's defence minister said on Wednesday authorities will
investigate the BBC on suspicion of insulting the monarchy in connection with a
Thai-language profile of the new king that has stirred social media anger.
* BP: Oil major BP is shipping almost 3 million barrels of U.S. crude
to customers across Asia, pioneering a lengthy and complex operation likely to
become more popular after OPEC last week announced deep production cuts.
* BREXIT: British finance minister Philip Hammond will seek to reassure some
of the country's trade and investment partners that Brexit will not hurt them
when he travels to South Africa on Wednesday and to Japan and South Korea next
* BREXIT: The British government has accepted the opposition Labour Party's
call for it to set out its plan for leaving the European Union before formal
talks begin, but has asked parliament to respect its Brexit timetable.
* METALS: London copper was treading water on Wednesday, buoyed by signs
that global manufacturing activity will return to a healthier footing next year.
* OIL: Oil prices slipped on Wednesday on persistent doubts whether a
planned crude production cut led by OPEC and Russia would be deep enough to end
a supply overhang that has dogged markets for over two years.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)