LONDON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 futures contract edged up 0.1 percent on Thursday, with European shares expected to be buoyed by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep ultra-low interest rates for a “considerable time”. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down by 0.2 percent, or 11.34 points, at 6,780.90 points on Wednesday.
* SCOTLAND INDEPENDENCE VOTE: Just hours before Scotland’s independence referendum, the fate of the United Kingdom rests on hundreds of thousands of wavering Scottish voters, as opinion polls showed supporters of the 307-year union just a whisker ahead of secessionists.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve on Wednesday renewed its pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time,” but also indicated it could raise borrowing costs faster than expected when it starts moving.
* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : Britain’s healthcare cost agency NICE has recommended a third new drug for melanoma, this time from GlaxoSmithKline , after the drugmaker offered to supply it at a discount to the state-run National Health Service.
* EASYJET : Budget airline easyJet said it would lift its payout ratio to 40 percent next year and had reached agreement with Airbus to add 27 planes to its fleet, in a sign of its continuing confidence.
* FRENCH CONNECTION : Clothing company French Connection reported a narrower loss.
* UBM : Media group UBM said it was in talks to buy Advanstar.
* KIER GROUP : Construction and property company Kier Group named a new finance director.
* PREMIER FARNELL : Premier Farnell, an electronics products supplier, posted a slight fall in interim pre-tax profits.
* COPPER: London copper slipped on Thursday after the Federal Reserve reaffirmed rates will stay low in the short term.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
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