March 27, 2014 / 7:42 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on March 27

(Adds futures, company news)

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening lower on Thursday, with June futures for the index down 0.4 percent by 0733 GMT. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on

* The UK blue chip index closed up by 0.41 points, flat in percentage terms, at 6,605.30 points on Wednesday. It has been trapped in a range between around 6,400 to 6,800 since late October.

* UK retail sales numbers for February, set for release at 0930 GMT, are expected to show an improvement from January’s sharp 1.5 percent decline.

* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND, HSBC : Among banks blocked by the U.S. Federal Reserve in their plans for higher dividends or share buybacks were the U.S. units of HSBC and RBS, due to weaknesses in their capital planning processes.

* BP : Between nine and 18 barrels (378-756 gallons) of oil spilled into Lake Michigan from BP Plc’s Whiting refinery in Indiana after a malfunction on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed.

* GLAXOSMITHKLINE : GlaxoSmithKline and Merck and Co Inc are not reimbursing drug co-payments for patients who purchase their health insurance through state and federal exchanges set up under the Obamacare program.

Separately, Glaxo is linking with two top bioscience centres on an open-access research project to tap into “big data” generated by gene research, in a move highlighting how drug companies are learning to share.

Also, British healthcare cost agency NICE is to take a broader view of the value offered by new medicines under proposals that may make it more likely that it will say “yes” to novel drugs in future.

* ENERGY SUPPLIERS: Britain’s energy suppliers could be on track for their biggest shake up since privatisation when regulators rule on Thursday whether the industry is competitive enough following a public outcry over high prices.

* COMPASS GROUP : The catering firm said it sees first-half revenue growth of about 4 percent.


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit (Reporting by Tricia Wright; Editing by Francesco Canepa)

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