(Adds futures, company news items)
Jan 4 Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 18
points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up
0.20 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index ended 0.5 percent higher at 7,177.89 points on
Tuesday as the London Stock Exchange reopened after a long weekend. It set a
record high of 7,205.45, rising above the peak reached at the end of 2016 after
a 5.3 percent rally in December, its strongest monthly performance since July
* NEXT: British clothing retailer Next on Wednesday cut profit
guidance for its current financial year and also warned on the outlook for the
following year, saying it is preparing the company for tougher times.
* ICAG: British Airways cabin crew plan to hold a 48-hour strike
starting on Jan. 10, after suspending previous plans to walk out over Christmas,
trade union Unite said on Tuesday.
* B&M: Britain's B&M European Value Retail said it saw strong
trading in its peak Christmas period, helping UK like-for-like sales rise 7.2
percent in its third quarter.
* MASTERCARD/CMA: Britain's competition watchdog said it has concerns with
MasterCard Inc's acquisition of payment processing company VocaLink
* VEDANTA RESOURCES: Zambian workers have downed tools at a mine and copper
processing plant belonging to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a unit of Vedanta
Resources, in a dispute over the pace of wage talks, a union official
said on Wednesday.
* ECB/BANKS: Proposed leveraged lending guidelines from the European Central
Bank could force riskier lending into unregulated channels and create unintended
opportunities for arbitrage as well as breed market distortion.
* BRITAIN INFLATION: Prices in British shops fell last month by the smallest
margin since mid-2015, in a further sign that rising costs linked to June's
Brexit vote are feeding into high street prices, an industry survey showed on
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)