(Adds company news items and futures)
Aug 1 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 12 points at 7,737 points on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down about 0.2 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* RIO TINTO: Global miner Rio Tinto, said on Wednesday its first-half profit rose 12 percent, missing expectations, but hiked its interim dividend and earmarked an additional $1 billion to share buybacks.
* DIRECT LINE: Britain’s largest motor insurer, Direct Line Insurance Group Plc, reported on Wednesday a 15.7 percent drop in first-half operating profit, hurt by a long, icy winter, and said its chief executive officer would step down in 2019.
* DIGNITY: British funeral services provider Dignity Plc on Wednesday warned of lower profit in 2019 and announced a turnaround plan to boost earnings.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP: Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday its pre-tax profit for the first half of 2018 jumped by 23 percent to 3.1 billion pounds ($4.06 billion), broadly in line with expectations despite another hefty provision for insurance mis-selling.
* ST. JAMES’S PLACE: British wealth manager St James’s Place on Wednesday posted a 23 percent increase in operating profit, boosted by inflows of new client cash.
* MAN GROUP: British hedge fund firm Man Group on Wednesday said assets under management rose 4.2 percent in the first six months of 2018, helped by net inflows of $8.3 billion.
* BAE SYSTEMS: Britain’s biggest defence company BAE Systems stuck to its forecast for flat earnings this year, saying that some issues at U.S. projects and in its maritime unit would be offset by a stronger performance from other parts of the business.
* NEXT: British retailer Next reported a 2.8 percent rise in full-price sales in the second quarter, a better result than it had forecast following exceptionally warm weather that boosted demand for summer ranges.
* CAPITA: British outsourcer Capita said it was on track to make the cost savings and full-year profits it has promised but warned it faced a long road to recovery following a string of profit warnings.
* HSBC: A former HSBC executive has won a British court battle against the U.S. government over his extradition, according to the judge’s ruling published on Tuesday.
* RBS: Britain’s financial watchdog should get new powers to regulate business loans after it was unable to punish Royal Bank of Scotland for its “deficient” treatment of customers, lawmakers said on Tuesday.
* GOLD: Gold prices came under pressure on Wednesday as news that the Trump administration has plans to propose higher tariffs on Chinese goods stoked demand for the U.S. dollar.
* OIL: Oil prices fell on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. stockpiles of crude unexpectedly rose, and as economic growth slowed, especially in Asia, amid the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.6 percent higher at 7,748.76 on Tuesday, as hopes that the United States and China would avert a trade war lifted global stock markets and helped British shares close on a six-week high and post a monthly gain for July.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru)