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March 13 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 is seen opening 18 points lower at 7,133 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, while FTSE 100 futures were down 0.42 percent ahead of the cash market open.
* AVAST: Cyber security firm Avast’s long-time chief executive officer is stepping down, the company said on Wednesday as it reported marginally lower-than-expected adjusted revenue and earnings in its first annual results since listing in May.
* PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Troubled subprime lender Provident Financial Plc swung to a pretax profit in 2018, bolstering its defence against a hostile takeover by smaller rival Non-Standard Finance Plc.
* LOOKERS: British car dealership chain Lookers Plc on Wednesday reported a 1.6 percent fall in full-year adjusted pretax profit, hurt by lower sales of new cars in the UK and higher costs.
* HIKMA: Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc on Wednesday reported a 19 percent rise in full-year core operating profit, helped by strong demand for its injectable drugs and a rebound in its generics business.
* STANDARD LIFE: Standard Life Aberdeen said on Wednesday that Keith Skeoch had been appointed sole chief executive of Britain’s biggest standalone listed asset manager.
* DIXONS CARPHONE: A British financial watchdog imposed a fine of 29.1 million pounds on Dixons Carphone Plc on Wednesday for mis-selling of Geek Squad, a mobile phone insurance and technical support service.
* BALFOUR BEATTY: Balfour Beatty Plc’s 2018 profit jumped 9.7 percent as the London-listed construction group’s turnaround plan paid off and it selected contracts more carefully in the wake of peer Carillion’s collapse last year.
* CAPITA: British outsourcing firm Capita said on Tuesday that Australia’s Corporate Travel Management CTD.AX had made an unsolicited bid for its travel business.
* SMITH & NEPHEW: Smith & Nephew Plc said on Tuesday it would buy U.S.-based regenerative medicine maker Osiris Therapeutics OSIR.O for $660 million, as the British medical products maker looks to bulk up in an area that is quickly growing.
* GOLD: Gold rose to its highest level in nearly two weeks on Wednesday, after regaining the key $1,300 level in prior session, buoyed by safe haven demand from Brexit chaos and a fall in dollar after a softer U.S. data.
* OIL: Oil prices rose on Wednesday, pushed up by ongoing supply cuts from producer cartel OPEC and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.29 percent up at 7151.15 on Thursday after a fall in the pound triggered by the government’s lawyer saying last-minute assurances won by Prime Minister Theresa May for her Brexit deal left the risk over the so-called Irish backstop “unchanged”.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
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> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit http://topnews.session.rservices.com * For Top News : http://topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Adil Bhat)