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(Adds company news items, updates futures)
June 8 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening down by 14 points, or 0.2 percent, on Wednesday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down about 0.1 percent ahead of the cash market open. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent on Tuesday at 6,284.53, chalking up its third straight day of gains, as a rise in oil and energy shares offset weaker mining stocks.
* VODAFONE: Sky Network Ltd on Wednesday said it is in discussions with Vodafone Group Plc about a possible merger of their New Zealand businesses.
* RIO TINTO: Resources giant Rio Tinto has released a cash tender offer to purchase $3 billion of debt in its second major buyback in as many months.
* GSK: An experimental drug for rheumatoid arthritis developed by Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline slowed joint damage and improved symptoms of the disease, meeting the main goals of a large, late stage trial, according to data released on Tuesday.
* BAT: Indonesian cigarette maker PT Bentoel Internasional Investama Tbk is set to raise nearly 14 trillion rupiah ($1.1 billion) after pricing its planned rights issue at 480 rupiah per share. Bentoel was 85.6 percent-owned by British American Tobacco PLC as of December 2015, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* TESCO: Britain's biggest retailer Tesco Plc is likely to announce this week a sale of its Turkish unit Kipa and British restaurant chain Giraffe, Sky News reported on Tuesday.
* SABMILLER: Moody's changes its review of SABMiller's A3 rating to review for downgrade, from direction uncertain.
* SAINSBURY'S: Sainsbury's, Britain's second biggest supermarket, on Wednesday reported a drop in quarterly underlying sales and cautioned that it did not expect market conditions to improve any time soon.
* LSE: Deutsche Boerse employees have sharply criticised the terms of a $30 billion merger agreed between the German exchange operator and the London Stock Exchange, urging that a planned holding company be based in Frankfurt.
* BOOHOO.COM: Boohoo.com Plc, a British online fashion retailer, nudged up its full-year sales forecast on Wednesday, after a rise in new customers helped first-quarter revenue beat its expectations.
* CMC MARKETS: British financial spreadbetting firm CMC Markets Plc reported a jump in full-year pretax profit as its clients traded more during heightened market volatility.
* UK ENERGY: Britain's energy market regulator Ofgem said on Wednesday that it was consulting on National Grid Plc's request to recover the costs of two contracts for grid services that it agreed with SSE Plc and Drax Group Plc.
* BREXIT: Public support for the European Union has fallen sharply in its biggest member states over the past year, a survey showed on Tuesday, weeks before Britons vote on whether to leave the 28-nation bloc.
* BREXIT: Prime Minister David Cameron accused those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union of lying, saying on Tuesday he had to challenge their views after watching TV news bulletins.
* OIL: Oil prices rose for a third day to their highest in about eight months on Wednesday, helped by industry data showing a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories, worries about attacks on Nigeria's oil industry and strong Chinese demand.
* COPPER: London copper was mired near its lowest in a fortnight on Wednesday after hefty stock builds in Asian warehouses underlined the tepid state of Chinese demand, with focus also turning to trade data later in the session.
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)