(Adds company news items and updates futures)
Feb 8 Britain's FTSE 100 futures were up 0.11 percent
ahead of the cash market open on Wednesday.
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 7,186.22 points on
Tuesday, boosted by a weak sterling and a surge in services company DCC,
while UK mid-caps posted a record closing level.
* RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto, said on Wednesday it
will pay a bigger-than-expected annual dividend of $1.70 per share on the back
of a strong recovery in mineral commodities markets in 2016 and cost-cutting.
Rio Tinto wants to cut its debt further, as the company looks to ensure it
can withstand any volatility in global commodity markets, Chief Financial
Officer Chris Lynch said.
* CO-OPERATIVE GROUP: Britain's Co-operative Group said Richard
Pennycook, its CEO who played a key role in steering the group through a 2013
crisis, is to step down on March 1 and be succeeded by Steve Murrells, the
current boss of the group's food business.
* SHIRE: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Shire
ViroPharma on Tuesday, accusing it of abusing government processes in order to
fend off generic competition to its antibiotic Vancocin HCI, the agency said in
* HARGREAVES LANSDOWN: Investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown said
pretax profit rose 21 percent year-on-year in the six months to the end of
December, helped by strong equities trading after Britain's vote to leave the
* TULLOW: Africa-focused Tullow Oil reported a loss for a third
consecutive year in 2016 after it was forced to write off further exploration
costs, the company said on Wednesday.
* BHP: Workers are set to strike on Thursday at BHP Billiton Plc's
Escondida copper mine after contract talks mediated by the Chilean
government failed to reach a deal, the main union at the world's largest copper
mine told Reuters.
* DUNELM GROUP: British homewares retailer Dunelm Group Plc raised
its interim dividend by 8.3 percent after reporting a rise in half-year sales
boosted by strong performance of its online business.
* TESCO BANK: British banking executives and security experts are growing
frustrated at the dearth of information available more than three months after
2.5 million pounds ($3.09 million) was stolen from Tesco Bank in the UK's
biggest financial cyber heist. The bank is owned by supermarket chain Tesco Plc
* BRITAIN ECONOMY: British employers struggled to find the staff they needed
in January, forcing them to increase starting salaries for permanent staff at
the fastest pace in nine months, a survey showed on Wednesday.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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(Reporting by Rahul in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)