UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Sept. 4
LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat near a 14-1/2-year high on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* Futures for the index are also flat at 0635 GMT.
* The UK blue chip index briefly hit 6,898.62 points on Wednesday, its highest level since early 2000, before closing 0.7 percent higher at 6,873.58 points.
* STANDARD LIFE - Manulife Financial Corp said on Wednesday it has agreed to acquire the Canadian operations of Standard Life for about C$4 billion ($3.7 billion) in cash, in a deal that significantly expands the insurer's presence in Quebec.
* Investors focus will be on a policy meeting of the European Central Bank, which faces intense market pressure to take policy action and risks losing credibility if it fails to back up a dovish message delivered by President Mario Draghi late last month.
* The Bank of England is also scheduled to have a policy meeting later in the day.
* CENTRICA - The company said its EPS in 2014 was now expected to reduce by between 0.6 and 0.9 pence per share.
* EASYJET - The company said its August passenger numbers rose 8.4 percent.
* Insurer Direct Line and electronics goods retailer Dixons Carphone - formed by a merger between Dixons and Carphone Warehouse - are to be promoted into Britain's benchmark FTSE 100 equity index. Continuación...