(Adds company news items and futures)
Feb 6 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 9 points lower at 7,168 on Wednesday, according to financial bookmaker, with FTSE 100 futures down 0.09 percent ahead of the cash market open. * REDROW: Redrow Plc said on Wednesday cost pressures reduced in the first half for the British homebuilder as subcontract, materials and labour markets eased. * CYBG Plc: Lender CYBG Plc reported a slight rise in mortgage lending in the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, while flagging uncertain market conditions as businesses and consumers await the final shape of Britain’s departure from the European Union. * BARRATT: Britain’s biggest housebuilder Barratt said it was liaising with its suppliers to ensure the smooth arrival of overseas components by boosting inventories and looking at alternative routes as it prepares for Brexit.
* JUST GROUP: British retirement services specialist Just Group said on Wednesday that total new business sales for the year to end-December were up 15 percent, helped by strong demand from companies to pass on pension scheme risk. * ATLAS MARA: Veteran banker Bob Diamond is stepping down as chairman of Atlas Mara as part of a shake-up at the pan-African financial group. * ASTRAZENECA: Britain’s AstraZeneca said a potential medicine to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in babies and infants had been granted special status by U.S. and European regulators, designed to speed up the development of novel and better drugs. * UNILEVER: Unilever, has acquired British snack brand Graze for an undisclosed price, boosting the group’s presence in food, it said on Tuesday. * HSBC: HSBC is preparing to lay off dozens of staff in its global banking and markets business, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday. * OCADO: Firefighters were tackling a fire at online supermarket pioneer Ocado Group Plc’s flagship automated distribution centre in Andover, southern England, more than 18 hours after the alarm was first raised. * GOLD: Gold prices held steady on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump, in his State of the Union speech, vowed to build a border wall, but gave little clarity over developments in the ongoing trade discussions with China. * OIL: Oil prices edged higher for the first time in three sessions on Wednesday, although concerns over the outlook for the global economy capped gains. * The UK blue chip index closed 2.04 percent up at 7,177.37 on Tuesday, as heavyweight BP doubled its annual profit and miners rallied on higher iron ore prices while a weaker pound was also supportive. * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: TODAY’S UK PAPERS > Financial Times > 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)