July 10, 2014 / 6:02 AM / 5 years ago

UK Stocks-Factors to watch on July 10

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 4-7 points higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* Futures for the index were up 0.1 percent by 0641 GMT.

* According to minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting released on Wednesday, the central bank acknowledged the recent strengthening in the U.S. economy but suggested it was unlikely to raise policy rates until the second half of 2015.

* The UK blue chip index closed down 20.41 points, or 0.3 percent, at 6,718.04 on Wednesday.

* China’s trade performance improved in June but still missed market forecasts, reinforcing expectations that Beijing will have to unveil more stimulus measures to stabilise the economy and meet its 2014 growth target.

* More signs emerged last month that the upturn of Britain’s housing market is starting to moderate, even in hotspots like London, a survey showed.

* ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS : AB Foods raised its annual earnings guidance after a strong third-quarter performance from its Primark discount fashion chain and progress in its ingredients business more than offset weakness in its sugar operations.

* BURBERRY : The British luxury brand warned that if exchange rates remained at current levels, that would have a “material impact on profits” as it posted a 12 percent rise in like-for-like retail sales for its fiscal first quarter to June.

* ASHMORE : The emerging market-focused fund manager said that assets under management increased during its fourth quarter to $75.0 billion.

* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE : Qatar Holding is set to slash its 15 percent stake in the owner of the London Stock Exchange by a third, ahead of the British company’s $1.6 billion rights issue to help it buy U.S. indexes group Frank Russell, the Telegraph reported, citing sources.

* BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS : The British builder said it expected its full-year profit to come in at the top end of forecasts, at about 390 million pounds ($664 million), after a strengthening house market resulted in a 8.6 percent rise in completed sales.

* HAYS : The British recruiting company reaffirmed its full-year operating profit outlook of around 140 million pounds after seeing strong growth in net fees in the UK and Ireland of 11 percent.

* MOTHERCARE : The struggling British baby products retailer, fighting off a takeover bid from U.S. group Destination Maternity, named its interim chief executive as its permanent CEO.

* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : The drugmaker could be lining up a $15 a share knock-out cash offer for Raptor Pharmaceuticals in the United States, according to the Daily Mail’s market report.

* WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS : Private equity firm Endless LLP is on the verge of sealing a deal to buy Wm Morrison Supermarkets’ online baby goods retailer, Sky News reported, citing sources.

* Britain has launched a review into the way that government assets are sold to private investors, following a political row over whether it sold the Royal Mail postal service too cheaply last year.


> 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 ($1 = 0.5877 British Pounds) (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Francesco Canepa)

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