LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 16 points, or 0.2 percent lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index were down 0.3 percent by 0636 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index advanced 74.22 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,784.67 points on Wednesday, with miners rallying after a strong update from Rio Tinto and encouraging economic growth data from top metals consumer China.
* British companies increased their marketing budgets for the seventh successive quarter from April to June as they sought to cash in on optimism over the country’s recovery from recession.
* BSKYB, ITV : Britain’s pay-TV group BSkyB has sold a 6.4 percent stake in the country’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster ITV to cable group Liberty Global for 481 million pounds ($824 million).
* SPORTS DIRECT : Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer posted a 20 percent rise in full-year profit and said it had again decided not to pay a dividend while it pursues acquisition opportunities.
* ANGLO AMERICAN : The miner, smarting from a 5-month strike at its platinum operations, reported higher iron ore and copper output for the first half of the year.
* LAND SECURITIES GROUP : The property developer sees good progress.
* SSE : Britain’s second-largest energy supplier said it continued to expect earnings at the same level or slightly higher than last year, despite what it called “very competitive market conditions”.
* MOTHERCARE : The struggling British mother and baby products retailer, the subject of bid interest from U.S. group Destination Maternity, said its UK business returned to underlying sales growth in its first quarter.
* LLOYDS BANKING GROUP : Letters sent by Lloyds Banking Group to debtors that appeared to come from independent lawyers were “calculated to mislead”, the chairman of parliament’s Treasury Select Committee said.
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$1 = 0.5835 British Pounds Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Alistair Smout