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LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 6 to 8 points lower, or down as much as 0.1 percent, on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed 0.2 percent lower at 6,818.17 points in the previous session.
* BT GROUP - BT kicked off its 1 billion pound placing on Thursday, saying it would launch an underwritten accelerated bookbuilding process immediately to fund its 12.5 billion pound ($19 billion) acquisition of mobile operator EE.
* RIO TINTO - The global miner handed shareholders a $2 billion capital return on top of a higher than expected dividend on Thursday, despite reporting its worst half-year profit in two years.
* Rio Tinto estimates that 125 million tonnes of iron ore capacity came out of the market in 2014 and it expects at least a further 80 million tonnes to come out this year as a result of weak prices, Chief Executive Sam Walsh said.
* IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP - Dividend growth of at least 10 per cent confirmed, says Q1 growth brands volume up 11 pct, net revenue up 15 pct.
* INFORMA - FY revenue 1.14 billion stg, Final dividend 12.9 pence per share, Total dividend 19.3 pence per share.
* ROYAL DUTCH SHELL - A Royal Dutch Shell spokeswoman said on Wednesday that talks with the United Steelworkers union (USW) were not broken off on the 11th day of a refinery workers strike, contrary to a media report in the morning.
* Brent hovered near $55 a barrel on Thursday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles set a record for the fifth week in a row, renewing fears that supply is still far outpacing demand.
* London copper slipped in thin trade on growing worries that a renewed Greek debt crisis could jolt the euro zone, while trade in general flattened out as demand slowed ahead of the Lunar New Year.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
> Financial Times
> Other business headlines Multimedia versions of Reuters Top News are now available for: * 3000 Xtra : visit topnews.session.rservices.com * BridgeStation: view story .134 For more information on Top News visit topnews.reuters.com (Reporting by Atul Prakash)