* Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down 12-13 points, or 0.2
percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, extending the sharp
falls seen in the previous session in tandem with drops on Wall Street and in
Asian markets as euro zone debt crisis concerns mount up. For more on the
factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down 93.86 points, or 1.7 percent on
Wednesday at 5,297.28, reversing much of a previous four-session rally to put it
on course for a monthly drop of over 7.5 percent in May, its worst performance
since August 2011.
* PRUDENTIAL - Britain's No.1 insurer on Thursday said it will buy
SRLC America Holding Corp from Swiss Re for 398 million pounds in
* GLENCORE, XSTRATA - Commodities trader Glencore
and miner Xstrata will send details of their long-awaited tie-up to
shareholders on Thursday, including a three-year retention package set to be
worth tens of millions of dollars for Xstrata boss Mick Davis.
* BHP BILLITON - The global miner on Thursday cleared the last
external hurdle for a planned $10 billion expansion of its Port Hedland harbour
in Western Australia that would help the world's biggest miner double output of
* WM MORRISON - Dalton Philips, Chief Executive of Britain's fourth
biggest grocer, said consumers are finding the economic environment so severe
they are having to use savings to pay monthly bills, are skipping meals and are
hiding treats from their children.
* Malaysian pension fund Employees Provident Fund is in the final stages of
talks to acquire Battersea power station for 375 million pounds, the Financial
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down $2.25
to $7,472.75 a tonne, after hitting $7,422.75 earlier, its lowest level since
* Brent crude dropped below $103 per barrel on Thursday and prices
were headed for their biggest monthly percentage drop in two years, as investors
made a beeline for the exits with the euro zone debt crisis grinding on.
* British consumer confidence picked up in May, propelled by a marked easing
of pessimism about the future, a survey by GfK NOP showed on Thursday, pointing
to some resilience in a major driver of the economy.
* Businesses in Britain intend to increase their workforces in the coming
year, although wage growth is likely to remain sluggish in what is emerging as a
new long-term trend, the Confederation of British Industry said on Thursday.
* May's Nationwide British house prices report will be released at 0600 GMT,
with a monthly increase of 0.2 percent forecast, after a 0.2 percent fall in
April, although year-on-year a decline of 1.0 percent is seen, after a 0.9
percent drop in the previous month.
* U.S. Challenger Layoffs for May will be released at 1130 GMT, followed by
May's ADP National Employment survey at 1215 GMT, and the latest weekly initial
jobless claims at 1230 GMT, all of which will provide pointers towards Friday's
all-important U.S. May jobs report. U.S. preliminary first-quarter real GDP data
will also be released at 1230 GMT, with May Chicago PMI due at 1345 GMT.
* UK CORPORATE DIARY:
KINGFISHER will issue a trading update.
TATE & LYLE posts full-year results.
THOMAS COOK GROUP reports first-half results.
HALFORDS GROUP unveils full-year results.
FULLER SMITH & TURNER delivers full-year results.
SCISYS issues an AGM trading update.
KENMARE RESOURCES holds its annual general meeting.
LOOKERS holds its annual general meeting.
PETROPAVLOVSK holds its annual general meeting.
TODAY'S UK PAPERS
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* 3000 Xtra : visit* BridgeStation: view story .134(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Janet Lawrence)