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LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 6 to 8 points lower, or down as much as 0.1 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent lower at 6,818.17 points in the previous session.
* BT GROUP - BT kicked off its 1 billion pound placing on Thursday, saying it would launch an underwritten accelerated bookbuilding process immediately to fund its 12.5 billion pound ($19 billion) acquisition of mobile operator EE.
* RIO TINTO - The global miner handed shareholders a $2 billion capital return on top of a higher than expected dividend on Thursday, despite reporting its worst half-year profit in two years.
* Rio Tinto estimates that 125 million tonnes of iron ore capacity came out of the market in 2014 and it expects at least a further 80 million tonnes to come out this year as a result of weak prices, Chief Executive Sam Walsh said.
* IAG - British Airways owner IAG is “nowhere near” walking away from its bid to buy Irish airline Aer Lingus, despite political opposition to the deal, chief executive Willie Walsh said in an interview published on Thursday.
* IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP - Dividend growth of at least 10 per cent confirmed, says Q1 growth brands volume up 11 pct, net revenue up 15 pct.
* INFORMA - The British business media group reported a statutory full-year pretax loss, hurt by a non-cash impairment of 219 million pounds ($333 million).
* SUPERGROUP - The British firm behind the Superdry fashion brand has parted company with its chief operating officer.
* British house prices rose last month at their slowest annual pace since May 2013 and fell for a fifth month in London, according to an industry survey that suggested political uncertainty ahead of a national election is crimping demand.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - A Royal Dutch Shell spokeswoman said on Wednesday that talks with the United Steelworkers union (USW) were not broken off on the 11th day of a refinery workers strike, contrary to a media report in the morning.
* Bank of England chief Mark Carney will probably say on Thursday that British inflation will soon go negative, but the scale of its predicted bounceback might make investors rethink how long interest rates will stay at a record low.
* French power utility EDF will make an investment decision on its 16 billion pound ($24 billion) project to build two nuclear reactors in Hinkley Point, Britain, this year, it said on Thursday, but added negotiations could take a long time.
* Brent hovered near $55 a barrel on Thursday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles set a record for the fifth week in a row, renewing fears that supply is still far outpacing demand.
* London copper slipped in thin trade on growing worries that a renewed Greek debt crisis could jolt the euro zone, while trade in general flattened out as demand slowed ahead of the Lunar New Year.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Atul Prakash)