(Adds company news, updates futures)
Aug 18 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up 42 points on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures up 30.5 points, or about 0.4 percent, ahead of the cash market open.
* The UK blue chip index closed 34.77 points lower on Wednesday at 6859.15, as a slump in Admiral shares dragged Britain’s top stock index down further from 14-month highs, after the car insurer said that market volatility caused by Brexit had hit its solvency ratio.
* DAETWYLER/PREMIER FARNELL: Swiss technical and electronic components distributor Daetwyler said it resigned from a higher offer for Raspberry Pi mini computer maker Premier Farnell and that its prior offer will lapse on Aug. 21.
* KAZ MINERALS: Kazakhstan copper firm Kaz Minerals on Thursday said core first-half profit (EBITDA) rose to $115 million from $88 million a year ago, and its major new project Bozshakol was on track for commercial output in the second half.
* THOMAS COOK: British holiday company Thomas Cook said on Thursday it had signed a supply deal with Webjet for the Australia-based online digital travel services firm to source and contract hotels for a non-core part of its business.
* PREMIER OIL: Oil producer Premier Oil returned to profit in the first half of the year thanks to higher production that also allowed it to raise its full-year output target by four percent.
* NATIONAL GRID: Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem has proposed scrapping some 185.4 million pounds worth of power and gas projects planned by network manager National Grid, it said on Thursday.
* EVRAZ: Evraz, one of Russia’s largest steel producers, reported a 38 percent fall in its first-half earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $577 million due to weaker steel prices.
* KINGFISHER: Kingfisher, Europe’s largest home improvement retailer, reported solid progress in its second quarter with sales growth driven by its markets in Britain and Poland but said it was cautious on the short-term outlook after the Brexit vote.
* SAGE GROUP: City of London police arrested a Sage Group employee on Wednesday at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of conspiring to defraud the British software maker, police said in a statement.
* X5: X5, Russia’s second-biggest food retailer, more than doubled its second-quarter net profit as sales grew, sending its shares to a four-year high.
* SUGAR TAX: Britain on Thursday launched a strategy aimed at curbing childhood obesity by taxing companies which sell sugar-laced soft drinks and investing that money in programmes to encourage physical activity and balanced diets for school children.
* TOBACCO FIRMS: Tobacco companies notched a partial victory in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to require pre-clearance for tobacco products with changed labels or quantities.
* SA FUEL STRIKE: South Africa’s petroleum sector employers and striking workers signed a new two-year wage deal on Wednesday, ending a three-week strike that caused limited supply disruptions, an official representing employers said.
* EX-DIVS: British American Tobacco, Imperial Brands, Legal & General, Mondi, Pearson, Reckitt Benckiser Group , Schroders will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 7.8 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations
* OIL: Oil prices dipped in early trading on Thursday as the prospect of record Saudi output weighed on markets and as traders cashed in on profits following an almost uninterrupted price rally this month of nearly 20 percent.
* METALS: London copper edged up on Thursday from near one-month lows as the dollar dropped after minutes from the last U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed policymakers were in no rush to raise interest rates.
* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on: cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?pageId=livemarkets
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