Dec 22 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index could edge down 0.1-0.2 percent on Thursday, based on last prices for futures on the index.
As the holidays approach, financial spreadbetters were not immediately available to provide indications of what might happen at the open.
* The UK blue chip index ended little changed on Wednesday after hitting a two-month high, though a rise in Ashtead Group and bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic provided support. The FTSE 100 was flat at 7,041.42 at its close.
* SHELL: Oil major Royal Dutch Shell is facing rising pressure from shareholders to shield its business from climate change threats and to play a bigger role in lowering global carbon emissions.
* RBS: Royal Bank of Scotland is close to selling at least $600 million worth of shipping loans from its portfolio, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
* STANDARD CHARTERED: The Thai unit of Standard Chartered has agreed to transfer its retail banking business to TISCO Bank PCL and All-Ways Company, as the UK lender’s Chief Executive Bill Winters continues with restructuring to boost earnings.
* LSE: Deutsche Boerse is confident that it can win over European antitrust regulators for the planned merger with London Stock Exchange Group , the German stock exchange operator’s Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter told Handelsblatt and the Financial Times in a joint interview.
* TRADING REGULATION: Market participants who want to minimize the impact of sweeping new regulations on securities trading in Europe have more work to do in the last year before the changes take effect, London Stock Exchange said on Wednesday. The regulations take effect at the start of 2018, meaning traders have just over 12 months left to prepare.
* UK CAR PRODUCTION: Britain built more cars in the first eleven months of 2016 than any full year since 2004, data from an industry body showed on Thursday, putting the sector on course to make more vehicles this year than in any other since 1999.
* UK CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: British consumer confidence rose the first time in three months in December, boosted by a big rise in households’ readiness to make major purchases, a GfK survey showed on Thursday.
* OIL: Oil prices nudged higher in tepid Asian trading on Thursday, supported by a weaker dollar and optimism that crude producers would abide by an agreement to curb output to prop up markets.
* METALS: London copper edged back towards one-month lows hit earlier this week on Thursday as the upcoming Christmas holidays drained markets of liquidity and direction.
* EX-DIVS: Burberry Group will trade without entitlement to its latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.18 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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