LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening flat to 3 points lower on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue chip index closed up 0.2 percent at 7,007.26 points on Wednesday.
* BANKS/FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Four major banks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and, with two others, were fined nearly $6 billion in another settlement in a global probe into the $5 trillion-a-day market. Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc were accused by U.S. and UK officials of brazenly cheating clients to boost their own profits using invitation-only chat rooms and coded language to coordinate their trades.
* BRITAIN/EU: Prime Minister David Cameron will unveil what aides call a “far-reaching” immigration crackdown on Thursday on the eve of a European Union summit he will use to tentatively start renegotiating Britain’s ties with the bloc.
* The European Union risks pricing itself out of the global economy by excessive regulation, British finance minister George Osborne said on Wednesday, making the case for reforms in the bloc ahead of a referendum on whether Britain remains a member.
* BP : BP Plc has settled with oilfield services provider Halliburton Co and contract driller Transocean Ltd cross claims related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst offshore disaster in U.S. history. BP still faces a potential fine of up to $13.7 billion under the U.S. Clean Water Act.
* BOOKER : Food wholesale operator Booker Group Plc is to buy the Londis and Budgens chains, Sky News reported.
* GOLDMAN SACHS : Peter Sutherland is to bow out as Goldman Sachs International chairman, the Financial Times reported.
* OIL PRICE: Oil edged up on Thursday, supported by a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.
* METALS: London copper futures steadied near their lowest level in three weeks early on Thursday.
* EX-DIVIDENDS: Banking group HSBC and housebuilder Taylor Wimpey are among several stocks going ex-dividend on Thursday, which will take around 6 points off the FTSE 100 index.
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 Sudip Kar-Gupta)