UPDATE 2-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Dec 17
(Updates futures, adds company news items)
Dec 17 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 69 points, or 1.14 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, futures up 1.6 percent by 0750 GMT ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 43.40 points, or 0.7 percent, at 6,061.19 points, boosted by rises in Dixons Carphone and Pearson, with investors hoping that an expected rise in U.S. interest rates later would calm volatile markets.
* ASTRAZENECA: AstraZeneca said it had agreed to buy a 55 percent stake in privately held biotech firm Acerta Pharma for $4.0 billion to give it access to a new kind of drug for fighting blood cancers.
* LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE: London Stock Exchange Group reported a 4 percent rise in exchange traded funds benchmarked to FTSE Russell for the first eleven months of the year, but new issues on the company's markets fell.
* STANDARD CHARTERED: Temasek is willing to give Standard Chartered time to work on its turnaround before deciding on the fate of its underperforming $4 billion stake in the UK bank as part of a portfolio reshuffle, people familiar with the matter said.
* SHELL/BG: Royal Dutch Shell's takeover of BG Group may look less attractive after the slide in oil prices but the fact that the same investors own nearly half of both firms means the deal is still likely to go through.
* EX-DIVS: Berkeley Group, United Utilities will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 0.83 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations Continuación...