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LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening 8 to 10 points higher, or up by 0.2 percent on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed down by 0.4 percent, or 23.83 points, at 6,755.48 points on Wednesday.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The U.S. Federal Reserve hinted on Wednesday that a surprisingly strong jobs market recovery could lead it to raise interest rates earlier than it had been anticipating. At the same time, most Fed officials wanted further evidence before changing their view on when rates should rise, according to the minutes from the central bank's July 29-30 meeting.
* CHINESE ECONOMY: Growth in China's vast factory sector slowed to a three-month low in August as output and new orders moderated, a preliminary private survey showed on Thursday, heightening concerns about increasing softness in the economy.
* ENERGY SECTOR: Britain's opposition Labour Party has pledged to give energy regulator Ofgem the power to cancel electricity and gas suppliers' licences if they repeatedly breach rules and cause harm to their customers.
* COPPER: London copper stayed around $7,000 a tonne mark on Thursday after a gauge on China's factory health showed growth slowed in August.
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