LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening up by 20 points, or 0.3 percent higher on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index fell to a three-week low on Wednesday, closing down 1.2 percent at 6,946.28 points.
* UK ELECTION: With Britain’s May 7 election just eight days away, Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party were tied at 35 percent each, according to a ComRes poll.
Britain’s best selling newspaper, The Sun, came out in support of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives citing the economy, fears about the power of Scottish nationalists and Cameron’s promise of a referendum on European Union membership.
* U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE: The Federal Reserve downgraded its view of the U.S. labor market and economy on Wednesday in a policy statement that suggested the central bank may have to wait until at least the third quarter to begin raising interest rates.
* ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Royal Bank of Scotland announced the further sale of a north American loan portfolio to Mizuho.
* UK CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: British consumer morale held steady at its highest level in more than 12 years in April, mixed news for Prime Minister David Cameron before the May 7 national election, according to researchers GfK.
* BRITAIN/IRAN: Britain has informed a United Nations sanctions panel of an active Iranian nuclear procurement network linked to two blacklisted firms, according to a confidential report by the panel seen by Reuters.
* OIL PRICES: Oil prices slipped away from five-month highs in early Asian trading on Thursday as Japanese factory output weakened for the second straight month.
* METALS: London copper slipped on Thursday after surprisingly weak U.S growth in the first quarter cast a pall over the strength of the world’s top economy, potentially dampening a recovery in metals demand.
TODAY‘S UK PAPERS
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